LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is demanding that General Motors pays back $60 million dollars that the company took in state tax credits.
In January of 2009, GM started receiving tax credits from the state of Ohio for Lordstown operations.
According to Todd Walker, chief communications officer of the Ohio Development Services Agency, GM received $14.2 million in Job Creation Tax Credits and $46.1 million in Job Retention Tax Credits from the state.
The 15-year Job Creation Tax Credits were approved in July 2008 in exchange for the commitment to create 200 new full-time jobs and retain 3,700 full-time employees at Lordstown, according to a letter to GM from the Ohio Development Services Agency.
In that letter, Ohio Development Services said GM breached the agreement when the Lordstown plant closed in March of 2019 and recommends a 100% refund of the tax credits used.
Yost said GM broke its promise of maintaining operations through 2028 and retaining the jobs through 2040.
“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.”
According to a 2019 study by the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University, the closure of the Lordstown plant caused the loss of about 8,000 jobs and more than $8 billion in regional economic activity.
Yost is urging the Tax Credit Authority to demand full repayment.
“Promises were meant to be kept, it’s what we were taught as children, and it’s something adults and companies should honor,” Yost said.
Yost said he is prepared to enforce the matter in court if GM refuses to honor a demand by the tax authority.
In response to the Ohio Development Services Agency’s issue with the tax credits, GM blamed market conditions and U.S. demand for small cars as the reason for the closure.
The company also said it employed more people from 2011 to 2016 and invested more in the area than was required by the agreement for the tax credits.