EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A big deal involving millions in tax credits and incentives is on the table at the Capital.

On Thursday, lawmakers were briefed on the agreement between the state and Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin.
But is it a good deal for Connecticut taxpayers?

The legislature has to sign off on the agreement for it to get the green light.

Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin just turned out its 5,000 Black Hawk helicopters for the U.S. Army. That chopper was part of a 50-year franchise.

The company is now bidding for $80 billion in contracts to be the exclusive manufacturer of the next generation of military helicopters. They need the state’s help.

George Mitchell, vice president of operations for Sikorsky, said “we are in a competition.” The 20-year agreement on the table sustains 7,750 current jobs.

Sikorsky commits to spending $470 million with local manufacturers committing to making $70 million in improvements at factories. It keeps the headquarters in Stratford through 2042.

The state offers a payroll tax rebate and offsets sales and uses taxes. The total in incentives is $75 million. There is no state bonding involved.

“Performance-based, no bonding required, no money needed day one. It will be earned and then maintained overtime by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin,” said David Lehman, the commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

Sikorsky has facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven, and Trumbull, and has 242 suppliers in 70 towns throughout Connecticut, like HABCO in Glastonbury, which employs 100 engineers.

“The longer they are in the state and the longer presence they have here, the huge benefits we get in our business,” said Brian Montanari, the owner of HABCO.

The new agreement builds on a 2016 $220 million deal with the state. Is the risk worth the reward?

Governor Ned Lamont defended the agreement.

“I mean, the other competitors down there in Texas, Texas is coming to the table as well. I want to make sure we do everything we can, you know, within reason to make sure Sikorsky stays in the state for the next 50 years.”

The deal is triggered only if Sikorsky wins the military contracts. Officials say the risk is on Sikorsky.

Paul Lavoie, the state’s chief manufacturing officer, said “if Sikorsky wins, Connecticut wins.”

Lawmakers vote on the $75 million agreement next week.