Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Pursuit of an Expansion of GM's Wentzville Plant, Missouri Offering Up $50 Million in Subsidies

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Pursuit of an Expansion of GM's Wentzville Plant, Missouri Offering Up $50 Million in Subsidies

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri lawmakers and Gov. Mike Parson are poised to offer a package of tax incentives worth more than $50 million to General Motors in hopes of spurring the automaker to invest at least $750 million in its Wentzville truck and van assembly plant.

Less than a week after the Post-Dispatch first reported the expansion plan at the facility 40 miles west of St. Louis, pieces of the proposal began surfacing as an amendment to legislation pending in the House.

The package, which will need legislative approval, calls for GM to receive tax credits if it makes at least $500 million in improvements to the plant within three years. The state tax credits would be worth $25 million.

If the company makes an additional $250 million in improvements to the plant, it could qualify for another $25 million.

The plan also contains elements of Parson's "Fast Track" job training scholarship program for adults, which is funded in the proposed budget at $10 million.

Parson, who is expected to make a formal announcement about the package on Wednesday, also wants lawmakers to approve other elements of his economic development plan, which could include providing matching funds to help local governments improve roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the St. Charles County community.

The proposal is steeped in urgency, not only because the Legislature is set to adjourn on May 17, but because Missouri is competing with other, unnamed states for the expansion, officials said.

In addition, Fast Track is one piece of Parson's economic development agenda that has floundered in the General Assembly. The governor, a Republican, had initially sought to earmark $22 million for the program.

The House and Senate have agreed on a $10 million funding level.

The legislation does not mention any number of new jobs that would be created at the plant where the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Express Cargo Van, GMC Canyon pickup trucks, and GMC Savana full-size van are built. …

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