COLUMBUS – The state of Ohio has awarded General Motors more than $60 million over the past decade in job creation and retention tax credits.
That figure includes millions of dollars meant to create and help keep jobs at GM’s Lordstown plant.
The automaker announced this week it plans to stop small-car production there in the first quarter of 2019 and could close the plant entirely.
Tax credit incentives is a very common tool used in economic development (note the recent mad dash of cities vying to lure Amazon into creating its second headquarters). Some cities like Columbus were offering more than $2.8 billion in economic tax incentives in an effort to attract the online retail giant, according to the D.C.-based economic development watchdog group Good Jobs First.
As for GM, under Governor Ted Strickland, the Detroit automaker was given a treasure chest of tax incentives to grow and retain jobs in Ohio.
Here’s what the state’s development services agency told 10 Investigates:
The Tax Credit Authority approved the Job Creation Tax Credit, which is a performance-based incentive. Eligibility is granted, but credits are only issued if the jobs are created. GM Lordstown met its commitment by creating 200 new jobs by 2010 and exceeded the commitment in subsequent years, until 2017. The company received $14,223,433 in job creation tax credits through 2016.
No JCTC s were issued for 2017.
The Job Retention Tax Credit required GM Lordstown to keep 3,700 jobs at the site. $46,100,388 in retention tax credits were issued to date.
The Job Retention Tax Credit required GM Lordstown to keep 3,700 jobs at the site.
So that’s more than $60.3 million in job creation and retention tax credits that have been given to GM over the past decade.
But with GM announcing that it is possibly shuttering the Lordstown plant, is the state out that tax money? Can it get it back?
The answer, according to Todd Walker with the Ohio Development Services Agency, is maybe -- but nothing will likely happen until the plant is actually closed and the jobs are lost.
“The plant is still open, employees are being paid, reports are being filed on time. If the plant closes, or the Director determines GM is in violation of its agreement, the law has a process for terminating and clawing back all or a portion of the credits already issued,” Walker told 10 investigates by email.
A GM spokesman sent 10TV the following statement:
"GM does not disclose proprietary tax information. We are talking with Ohio state officials about the potential implications of Monday’s announcement."