General Motors should repay $60 million in state tax credits, asks Ohio AG

General Motors

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost stated Tuesday that General Motors should repay $60 million in state tax credits after it shut down its Lordstown Assembly plant in March 2019.

In a brief to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, Yost stated the automaker in 2009 agreed to maintain operations situated at its northeast Ohio plant through 2028 and retain 3,700 jobs through 2040 in exchange for the credits. “We demand the money that is rightfully owed to Ohio – no more, no less,” Yost stated.

Yost’s filing said GM did not meet its contract. “Does any rational person believe that, if the shoe were on the other foot, GM would shrug and walk away from $60 million it paid under a contract when the other party chose not to deliver?”

Yost mentioned a 2019 study that GM’s Lordstown closure resulted in the loss of almost 8,000 jobs and over $8 billion in local economic activity, while the local school district had depended on the plant for 10% of its budget.

GM stated Tuesday it “has demonstrated its commitment to Ohio through our investments of over $3.3 billion in Ohio since 2009 … We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the state.”

As recently as 2016, GM hired 4,500 people at Lordstown and slash the final 1,500 jobs when production of the slow-selling Chevrolet Cruze ended.

The automaker sold the plant to an electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors that hopes to start production next year with a few hundred employees.

GM and LG Chem are investing $2.2 billion to build a battery cell manufacturing plant in Lordstown that will create 1,100 jobs.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine informed reporters last week the state does not “necessarily have to get that cash back but what we do want to see is things that promote jobs in Ohio … We’re not actively pursuing a clawback”.

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