(The Center Square) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wants General Motors to repay $60 million in state tax credits the company received.
In January 2009, GM received state tax credits for its former Lordstown plant, according to Yost. The attorney general contends GM promised to maintain operations at the location through 2028 and keep 3,700 jobs through 2040.
However, GM closed its Lordstown facility in 2019. Yost filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority seeking a return of the credits.
“Profit is not a dirty word in Ohio, but a broken promise is,” Yost said in a tweet. “GM got $60 million in tax credits for jobs at its Lordstown plant, then killed the jobs.”
GM’s decision to close the Lordstown facility drew condemnation from elected officials, including President Donald Trump. Lordstown Motors purchased the plant in November and announced a plan to manufacture electric-powered pickup trucks.
“Government, it is often said, should run more like a business,” Yost wrote. “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? Ohio welcomes its long and continuing relationship with GM, but we want our money back. It’s just business.
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Lordstown for the company’s unveiling of its Endurance electric pickup truck. Company officials have said they plan to hire hundreds of workers as part of its production line.
GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Policy Matters Ohio applauded the move to go after the incentives.
“We are glad to see that Attorney General Yost has demanded that GM pay back its Lordstown incentives,” Zach Schiller, research director of Policy Matters Ohio, said in an email. “We agree with his statement: ‘The bottom line is that GM didn’t do what it promised and for that reason it needs to repay the incentives it received.’”
Todd DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square