FILE - OH Lordstown 6-3-2011

The factory that at the time housed a General Motors vehicle production operation is seen June 3, 2011, in Lordstown, Ohio.

(The Center Square) – General Motors must repay $28 million in tax credits and invest $12 million in the Mahoning Valley following its closure of its Lordstown assembly place, the Ohio Development Services Agency said Monday.

GM received $60.3 million in tax credits in exchange for a commitment to retain 3,700 employees in Lordstown. The company closed the plant and did not maintain its commitment to retain the jobs through 2028.

“Today’s action protects taxpayer dollars, which also allowing for continued investment in the local community,” Lydia Mihalik, director of ODSA, said. “Our team at Development is committed to ensuring taxpayers get a good return on their investments, supporting Ohio businesses and strengthening communities across the state.”

Criticism from an outside think tank that wants to reform state and local economic development programs across the country claim government failed to protect Ohio taxpayers.

“Ohio’s decision to allow General Motors to keep a reported $20.3 million in unearned subsidies after the closure of its Lordstown plant would have been a bad decision in the best of times, but it’s especially unacceptable in 2020,” John C Mozena, president of The Center for Economic Accountability, said in a statement. “Ohio taxpayers are facing plenty of ‘market factors’ of their own right now, and it’s a shame the bureaucrats who supposedly represent the people’s interests failed miserable right when they were needed the most.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the deal will bring relief to the area.

“GM has been a major employer in the state of Ohio for decades, investing in both the economy and our workforce. 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,” DeWine said.

GM has other state incentives for operations in Toledo and Defiance. According to ODSA, the company is currently compliant with those agreements.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.