Georgia appeals ruling that killed incentive package for Rivian’s $5 billion factory

Rivian factory

Georgia State Officials and the Joint Development Authority (JDA) are appealing a ruling from a Morgan County Judge that killed a property tax incentive package for Rivian’s planned $5 billion factory.

The ruling last month not only shot down the property tax incentives, but it also denied $15 billion in bonds to finance the construction of the plant, which in turn invalidated the rental agreement between the JDA, the State of Georgia, and Rivian.

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As Drive Tesla reported last month about the deal:

Under the terms of the deal, Rivian would have paid $300 million to local governments and school systems over 25 years instead of paying its regular property taxes. This was done under a payment in lieu of taxes agreement.

However, the judge’s ruling meant that Rivian would be on the hook for the full amount of local property taxes.

Georgia’s Department of Economic Development and the JDA filed a notice of appeal on Friday, stating they conducted their due diligence and the investment will bring huge economic benefits to the community.

“In addition, the State and JDA conducted due diligence to understand the impacts of the project on direct and indirect jobs created (7,500 direct, 8,000 indirect) and estimated the significant amount of revenue that would be generated by these jobs ($1 billion) and $300 million in PILOT payments over 25 years at the $5 billion investment amount. The payment in year one is 18 times more than the taxes currently generated on the property.”

Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, is confident they will be successful in their appeal because of their previous bond deals that have been structured in the same way.

“We absolutely disagree with Judge Trammell’s ruling regarding the structure of incentives for this project, and we are confident in the merits of our appeal. Rivian’s $5 billion, 7,500-job commitment to the State of Georgia, as outlined in our binding Economic Development Agreement, is a transformational investment for the community, the State, and the country. The bond structure for this project is consistent with numerous other bond deals that have previously been validated across this State and even in Morgan County.”

The appeal will now move to a higher court in Georgia with dockets due in the near-term.

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There is currently no timeline nor indication when the appeal will be heard.

Rivian has not provided a comment, and has not filed their own appeal on the ruling yet.

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About Scott Nordlund 1337 Articles
Originally from the West Coast, Scott is an avid writer & EV enthusiast now living in Ottawa. He holds a MA in Political Science and once played professional football in the German Football League. Email scott@driveteslacanada.ca