Ohio tells GM to repay tax break after it shut down plant

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — General Motors must repay roughly half of a $60 million tax incentive package because of its broken promise to keep open its assembly plant near Youngstown, a state agency said Monday.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority also said GM must invest $12 million in workforce and education needs near the former Lordstown plant, which the automaker closed last year.

An economic development deal from more than a decade ago gave GM millions in tax breaks in exchange for keeping the Lordstown plant operating at least through 2027. State officials told the automaker in March that the plant’s closing violated the agreement.

GM said in a statement that it has a large manufacturing presence in Ohio, noting that it is currently building a new electric battery cell factory in Lordstown next to the site of the much larger assembly plant it shut down in March 2019 after more than 50 years of production.

The battery plant will create about 1,100 jobs, while GM employed 4,500 workers at the assembly plant when it was running three shifts a few years ago.

The state tax credit authority on Monday approved a 15-year job creation tax credit for the battery plant.

The former assembly plant, meanwhile, has since been sold to a start-up company that intends to make electric pickup trucks.

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