State must hold GM accountable

Morning Journal | Editorial

Ohio’s Tax Credit Authority is expected this month to assess whether General Motors should repay the state $60.3 million in tax incentives for its former assembly plant in Lordstown.

The authority should rule that GM must pay back the full amount it received in tax credits because it closed its former plant in Lordstown.

The Ohio Development Services Agency has informed GM it will recommend to the tax credit authority it terminate the tax incentive agreement with GM and seek a full refund of the tax credits because the company broke the agreement when it shuttered the Lordstown plant.

GM, however, contends it should be spared from repaying the state, arguing that doing so “would be inconsistent with the spirit of economic development and our significant manufacturing presence” in the state and the Mahoning Valley.

GM received $14.2 million in job creation tax credits and $46.1 million in job retention tax credits to be used to improve the Lordstown plant to support the production of a second-generation Chevrolet Cruze…

We were pleased, however, to see that Attorney General Dave Yost responded with calls for a payback from the Detroit-based automaker. Yost last month filed a legal brief with the tax credit authority demanding that GM repay “every last penny” of the tax credits. He noted the cost to GM would be 1 percent of its savings from closing the plant.

Yost called that a “small charge” from the auto giant that “could never be construed as punitive,” according to the brief.

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