Ohio demands General Motors pay $28 million for shuttering Lordstown factory

Ohio officials ordered General Motors to repay $28 million in state tax credits after it shuttered a factory it promised to keep open for three decades.

The state’s Development Services Agency says the Detroit auto giant broke the terms of 2008 economic-development deals by closing its Lordstown plant in March of last year — a decision that drew fire from President Trump.

The agreements required GM to keep the factory running through 2037 and retain 3,700 workers in Lordstown through 2028 — commitments the company broke by shutting down the plant, according to Ohio officials. The state will also require GM to invest $12 million into education, infrastructure and workforce needs in the surrounding Mahoning Valley area by the end of 2022.

“While the decision to close the Lordstown plant was terrible news for workers and their families in the Mahoning Valley, today’s announcement will bring relief as well as investment by GM,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a Monday statement announcing the move.

GM sold the plant last year to Lordstown Motors Corp., an electric-vehicle maker that it’s working with to launch an electric pickup truck. GM says it also formed a joint venture with chemical firm LG Chem that is investing more than $2 billion into a new battery cell factory in Lordstown, which is about 15 miles outside the city of Youngstown.

In a statement, GM said it has made more than $3.3 billion worth of investments in Ohio since 2009 separate from the planned battery plant. The company said it will work with state officials to determine how it will spend money in the Mahoning Valley under its agreement with the state.

“We look forward to continuing to build our business relationship with the State of Ohio on issues that are important to the State of Ohio, GM and our operations,” GM said in the statement.

General Motors has also claimed Ohio state incentives for its factories in the cities of Toledo and Defiance, according to state officials, who said the company is currently compliant with those agreements.

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