Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost submitted a brief to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority that demanded General Motors (GM) repay $60 million the company received in state tax credits after breaking its promise to Ohio and the Mahoning Valley.
Eleven years ago, GM started collecting tax credits for its Lordstown plant. In exchange for its tax credits, the auto giant said it would maintain Lordstown plant operations till 2028 and retain 3,700 jobs through 2040, according to Yost’s press release.
However, last year GM ended its Lordstown plant, which eventually sold to Workhorse, an electric truck manufacturer.
“Accountability is the key to good business and we’re holding GM accountable for not living up to its end of the contract,” Yost said. “We demand the money that is rightfully owed to Ohio – no more, no less.”
The brief states, “Tax incentives can be a powerful job creator. But, for them to fully function, businesses that come nowhere near to meeting their promises, like GM’s failure by thousands of jobs and decades of employment, must be held to account. GM is one of America’s largest corporations, valued at over $50 billion when it shuttered Lordstown. GM simply has no valid excuse or argument.”
A 2019 study by the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University said that when GM closed Lordstown’s doors almost 8,000 people lost their jobs and cost the regional economy over $8 billion in economic activity. Furthermore, the local school district lost $800,000 in property taxes per year, which was 10% of its overall budget, according to Yost’s press release.
“Ohio never assumed GM’s business risks, and was denied its benefit of the bargain. Repaying the credit is more than fair to GM considering its claimed savings from the closure,” the brief concludes. “For the reasons set forth in the foregoing brief of amicus curiae, the Authority should certify one hundred percent as the amount to be refunded from GM to the Tax Commissioner.”
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Photo “Dave Yost” by Dave Yost. Photo “Lordstown Complex” by Lordstown Assembly.