Attorney General demands GM pay Ohio $60 million for breaking contract

Attorney General demands GM pay Ohio $60 million for breaking contract
FILE PHOTO (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS — Dave Yost, Ohio’s Attorney General, is demanding that General Motors pay Ohio $60 million due to a ‘broken promise’ made to the state.

“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.

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“We demand the money that is rightfully owed to Ohio no more, no less.”

GM began to receive significant tax credits from the state for Lordstown operations in January of 2009.

A contract sited that GM would maintain operations at its Lordstown plant through 2028 and retain 3,700 jobs through 2040 in exchange for $60 million in tax credit certificates from Ohio, explained a media release from Yost’s office.

GM closed the Lordstown plant in 2019, leaving the contract unfulfilled.

Closing the Lordstown assembly was expected to save GM $6 billion, the company estimated. Repaying the tax credits would cost GM one percent of their savings from that year.

The contract was not the only thing broken when the plant closed in 2019. The lives of many locals were impacted and would feel the loss of the company in more ways than one.

A loss of nearly 8,000 jobs and more than $8 billion in economic activity in the regional economy was estimated in a 2019 study by the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University.

The local school district near the former Lordstown facility also took a hit when the company facility closed.

The district received nearly $800,000 in property taxes per year which amounted to 10 percent of the school’s overall budget.

Yost is urging the Tax Credit Authority to demand repayment in full.

“The bottom line is that GM didn’t do what it promised and for that reason it needs to repay the incentives it received,” Yost said.

If GM refuses to honor a demand by the tax authority, Yost said he is prepared to enforce the matter in court.