Rivian will receive $1.5 billion in state and local government incentives to build its new plant near Atlanta, Georgia. The money comes despite resistance from local residents.
The new plant will be the largest development project in Georgia since World War II, making it important to the state that has historically struggled to attract automakers. This incentives package will also be the largest in Georgia history, reports Bloomberg.
It consists of tax credits, abatements, and subsidies such as $228 in discretionary spending for things like site preparation and job training support, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The four counties hosting the plant, meanwhile, will give tax abatements that amount to around $700 million over the next 25 years.
Rivian will also get $476 million in statutory tax credits but only if it fulfills its promise to create a total of 7,500 jobs by the end of 2028. That, said Georgia’s commissioner of economic development Pat Wilson, gives the state some power to claw back money from the company and protect taxpayers if the automaker fails in its promises.
Regardless, some taxpayers living near the site of Rivian’s upcoming $5 billion plant have pushed back against the project, citing concerns about traffic, environmental damage, and continued urban sprawl. A Facebook group dedicated to the grassroots movement now has some 3,200 members and has drawn support from U.S. Senator David Perdue, who is challenging Governor Brian Kemp in the state’s gubernatorial primary in May.
The opposition to the site was such that the state actually took over the approvals process and consolidated local zoning and compliance in order to ward off threats of project delays. Wilson, though, calls the project a win for the state and those counties, which will get around $330 million in tax revenue from Rivian, as compared to the $2 million they would get if the project didn’t happen.
“It’s a huge net win,” said Wilson. “The state has always placed a priority on jobs — if you’re creating jobs in the state, we incentivize those jobs.”
Rivian, which has struggled to ramp up its production site in Illinois and is counting on this factory to meet its production goals, is similarly positioning the deal and the state investments as an economic win for the people of Georgia.
“The long-term economic partnership promises to deliver value to Rivian, the people of Georgia, and their kids’ kids’ kids,” it said in a statement.