Missouri weighs $50 million in incentives for GM expansion
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and state lawmakers are considering an incentives package offering General Motors up to $50 million for expansion of an eastern Missouri plant that makes trucks and vans.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the package would include up to $25 million in tax credits if GM makes at least $500 million in improvements to its Wentzville plant within three years. If GM makes an additional $250 million in improvements, it could qualify for another $25 million in tax credits.
Parson, a Republican, also wants lawmakers to approve other elements of his economic development plan, which could include matching funds to help local governments improve infrastructure near the plant.
State officials cited urgency in the proposal since the Legislature adjourns May 17 and also because Missouri is competing with other, unnamed states for the expansion.
The legislation does not mention if any new jobs would be created or how many. GM builds the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Express Cargo Van, GMC Canyon pickup trucks, and GMC Savana full-size vans in Wentzville. The plant employs about 3,500 workers.
GM spokesman Darri’n Hardy said several factors go into expansion decisions, “including the overall business case for a project, discussions with state and local community officials and discussions with the UAW.”
“GM leadership is awaiting outcomes on these three elements of the business case before making any final decisions regarding potential investment,” Hardy said.
State officials contend that a similar package of incentives approved in 2014 led to larger-than-expected investments in expanding a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City. Missouri Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Maggie Kost said Ford ultimately invested $473 million and retained 3,850 jobs that paid, on average, $84,030.
“Since then, that plant has continued to grow, and we know from subsequent work with them, that they’ve since created more than 3,000 new jobs and are projected to invest an additional $100 million,” Kost said. “So we’ve seen from past experience that job retention and plant upgrades can set the company up for significant job creation down the road.”
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com