GM to Ohio: We're investing $71M in two plants, and we appreciate you.

General Motors received considerable attention when it shuttered its long-running Lordstown, Ohio plant early in 2019. Unwelcome press on Lordstown dogged GM through 2020 despite the facility finding new life as the home of Lordstown Motors. The saga for GM isn't over just yet, as now the automaker must repay Ohio no less than $28 million for tax incentives received on a plant it no longer owns.

That's the crux of a press statement released today by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority. In 2008, GM and Ohio entered into an agreement that netted the automaker a total of $60.3 million in state tax credits. The deal required GM to retain 3,700 employees at its Lordstown facility through 2028, but that obviously didn't happen and now Ohio wants some of that money back.

"GM has been a major employer in the state of Ohio for decades, investing in both the economy and our workforce," said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. "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 who has committed to investing $12 million in the local community for workforce, education, and infrastructure needs."

According to the press release, GM is committed to making good on the sizable refund.

"GM has also committed to returning $28 million to the state for the job creation and retention credits they were awarded. GM remains involved in auto production in Lordstown to produce batteries for electric vehicles which is also good news for the future of the automotive industry.”

When asked directly about the tax incentive repayment, a GM spokesperson sent the following statement to Motor1.com:

"We appreciate the Ohio Tax Credit Authority recognizing GM’s substantial manufacturing presence across the State of Ohio, including our significant investments in the Mahoning Valley, when making a decision on the Lordstown tax credit issue and the Ultium Cells LLC job creation incentives application.

GM has invested more than $3.3 billion in Ohio since 2009.  Separately, GM and LG Chem, via the Ultium Cells LLC joint venture, are building a more than $2.2 billion, state-of-the-art, battery cell manufacturing plant in Lordstown that will create more than 1,100 new jobs.  Construction of the facility is well underway. The new battery cell manufacturing plant will play a critical role in GM’s commitment to an all-electric future.

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."

Coincidentally, GM announced a $71 million investment in two of its Ohio manufacturing facilities. The automaker will spend $39 million at the Toledo Transmission plant and $32 million at is cast plant in Defiance. GM says this investment will retain 240 U.S. manufacturing jobs, with the investment focusing on upgrading and enhancing production of the eight-speed automatic transmission and future engine casting work.

This investment is not part of the $28 million tax credit repayment.