by J.D. Davidson
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority officially approved Monday tax credits for a new electric vehicle battery plant in southwest Ohio, even as critics call the deal crony capitalism and believe the money could be better spent.
The incentives were part of three economic development deals given the green light by OTC for projects the state says will create more than 3,000 new jobs and retain more than 8,000 others.
The state incentives include a 1.871%, 30-year job creation tax credit for the project.
As previously reported by The Center Square, Honda and LG plan to invest $3.5 billion in a new battery plant in Fayette County, which is expected to create at least 2,200 new jobs. Honda will spend around $700 million to retool its Marysville auto plant, its Anna engine plant and its East Liberty auto plant to create 327 new jobs as it moves toward EV production.
Once transformed for EV production, the power source for the vehicles made at the Marysville, Anna and East Liberty factories will come from the new battery plant in Fayette County.
Gary Wagner, a professor of economics at Louisiana-Lafayette, has called the government deal for Honda massive and an expensive price for taxpayers.
“This specific deal for Honda is massive,” Wagner said. “Based on federal income tax filings for Ohio, every federal taxpayer in the state is paying nearly $500 for this ‘economic development’ opportunity. The rough ‘cost per job’ is almost $1.7 million dollars. Point blank, there are many other ways the state of Ohio could use $4.2 billion to enhance economic development. This is a prime example of crony capitalism.”
The OTC also approved a 1.299%, 10-year job creation tax credit for Barcel USA, which expects to create 320 new jobs at the new project for the snack and candy maker in Muskingum County.
A 2.009%, 10-year job creation tax credit was approved for Enable Injections, a medical device company which plans to expand its facilities in Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties.
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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. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Honda Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio” by Nheyob. CC BY-SA 4.0.