General Motors will payback $28 million in state tax incentives to Ohio. The repayment comes after the company came under significant scrutiny for closing its Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant in 2019 and just as GM has secured new state incentives from Ohio.
GM announced plans to close its Lordstown facility in November 2018. The announcement was met with significant blowback from politicians, including President Donald Trump. Trump had campaigned in the Lordstown area during the 2016 presidential contest, promising to bring even more jobs to the area. The Lordstown plant employed approximately 4,000 people.
Despite the scrutiny, GM proceeded with shuttering the plant last March. The automaker ultimately sold the facility to battery-electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors. Lordstown plans to produce a new battery-electric pickup at the plant and employ about 400 people. GM is an investor in Lordstown Motors, the assembly plant was part of their capital contribution.
According to The Detroit News the Ohio Tax Credit Authority is requiring GM to repay $28 million in tax incentives. The tax agency is also requiring GM to invest $12 million into the Mahoning Valley. The investment will go to workforce development initiatives and infrastructure.
The penalty stems from a 2008 agreement in which GM entered into a Job Creation and Retention Tax Credit agreement with Ohio. The $60.3 million deal stipulated that GM retain 3,700 employees at the Lordstown plant through 2028. GM received additional state incentives from Ohio in 2010 for agreeing to add 200 employees at the plant.
While GM may be refunding previous state tax incentives to Ohio, that isn’t stopping the state from issuing new ones. Through a joint venture with LG Chem, GM is is the process of building a $2.3 billion battery cell manufacturing facility near its former plant in Lordstown.
Ohio has granted the joint venture, which is slated to produce 1,000 jobs and $45 million in payroll, a 15-year Job Creation Tax Credit. The state says the value of this incentive is $13.8 million if they fulfill all job creation obligations.
Yesterday GM announced separate investments totally $71 million into plants in Toledo and Defiance.