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Mon Jun 22, 2020, 07:42 PM

GM Closed the Lordstown Auto Plant. Now Ohio May Force a $60 Million Repayment.

The state of Ohio has put General Motors on notice that it may be forced to repay more than $60 million in public subsidies as a result of the automaker closing its massive assembly plant last year in Lordstown.

The state’s collection effort, initially outlined in a letter to GM in March, has not been previously reported, and the automaker itself has not disclosed the potential liability to shareholders in its corporate filings.

State officials say the Lordstown shuttering, which made national headlines and drew the ire of President Donald Trump, violated the terms of two state economic development agreements that GM signed more than a decade ago, according to documents obtained by The Business Journal and ProPublica through public records requests. In return for tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks, the company had pledged to maintain operations at the Lordstown site until at least 2027.

“If the state were to claw back $60 million, that would be one of the biggest clawback events in U.S. history,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a national nonprofit that advocates for accountability in economic development. “This is very significant, very interesting that it would come from a Rust Belt state from a very pro-business administration.”

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/gm-closed-the-lordstown-auto-plant-now-ohio-may-force-a-60-million-repayment

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