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Lansing city council approves final part of incentive package for GM

GM, Lansing Delta Township
Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 12:30:26-05

LANSING, Mich. — On Monday, the Lansing City Council approved the last piece of an incentive package they hope will convince GM to build a $2.5 billion battery plant in Lansing.

The city council unanimously voted on industrial facilities tax exemption, a 50 percent tax cut on new revenue that would be generated by the GM battery plant.

“The renaissance zone, which has already been voted on and approved, is a pretty across-the-board tax exemption for this proposed project. But there are a couple of small millages that aren't covered by the renaissance on a sinking fund debt, special assessments, these are very small pieces of millages. that needed to be covered up to 50 percent,” said Bob Trezise, the president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

Jeremy Whittum, the chairman of the Eaton County Board of Commissioners, highlighted the importance of the automotive industry to the region.

“The world's best labor force in Mid-Michigan, will be building the next generation of freedom. And as we can consider the next generation of freedom, that's going to go throughout the world with electric vehicles,” Whittum said.

“Now, this moves on to the state and we are very hopeful that we remain competitive in this process,” said Peter Spadafore, the president of the Lansing City Council.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also signed important economic bills Monday, including a $1.5 billion bill to spend on economic development efforts for businesses, which could be another incentive for GM.

“Economic development has been tough in my judgment in the state of Michigan the last 10 years. And I know it's old fashioned, but to see Republicans and Democrats come together…it really warms my heart,” Trezise said. “For the first time in ten years, Michigan can compete for huge transformative projects.”

GM, Lansing Delta Township
GM, Lansing Delta Township

The final package also includes the approval for tax exemption requested by Ultium Cells, a partnership between GM and LG Energy Solution, as well as a $936 million energy bill over a 20-year contract with the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

“GM sincerely appreciates the support the City of Lansing and Delta Township showed by approving our tax incentive applications," Daniel Flores, a spokesman for GM, said in a statement. "As we’ve previously mentioned, securing all available tax incentives plays a critical role in any business case moving forward. Approving our tax incentive applications is a positive step forward, however, the proposed project is not approved. I’m not going to speculate on GM leadership making a final determination on the business case under development.”

The battery plant would bring a $2.5 billion investment and create an estimated 1,700 jobs.

The plant would be built at 8100 Davis Highway on 590 acres adjacent to the Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant.

“If we were to be selected, my understanding is, that construction could start as soon as first quarter of 2022,” Trezise said.

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