LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — General Motors should repay Ohio $60 million in public incentives because of its decision to close a massive assembly plant near Youngstown, state Attorney General Dave Yost said Tuesday.
At issue is an economic development deal from more than a decade ago that gave GM millions in tax breaks in exchange for a promise to keep the Lordstown plant operating at least through 2027. But GM shut down the plant in March 2019.
State officials notified the automaker in March that the plant’s closing violated the agreement.
“Accountability is the key to good business and we’re holding GM accountable for not living up to its end of the contract,” said Yost, a Republican.
Fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said last week the state is not actively seeking the money’s return but is focused on how the automaker can create Ohio jobs.
Ohio’s threat to claw back the incentives is complicated by GM’s decision build a new electric battery cell factory next to the site of the shuttered assembly plant.
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 automaker has said it hopes the state will take into account its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio.