GM applies for a tax abatement on proposed Flint project - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

GM applies for a tax abatement on proposed Flint project

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(10/23/13) - General Motors has asked Flint City Hall for a 50 percent tax abatement for a potential construction project at Flint Assembly, but the automaker isn't disclosing how big the project will be or when work may begin.

The plant is where Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are assembled. GM's director of local government relations told Flint officials the company is considering a "potential new paint shop."

"It would be a great addition to the site. It would be fantastic for the facility and for that area," John Blanchard said.

GM asked for a tax abatement in 2011 to build a $124 million dollar paint shop, but it was never built and the abatement expired.

Now the automaker is back, asking for an Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate that would grant a 50 percent tax break on the new investment for 12 years, saving GM an estimated $2  million a year.

"We have not finalized our decision on what we're going to do or when we're going to do it," said Tom Wickham of GM communications.

The project has the potential of adding jobs to the area economy.

"In the abatement application, it stated 150 jobs retained or created," Wickham said.

Constructing a paint shop on the southwest side of Flint has the support of the United Auto Workers.

"Investment means future. The lack of investment means somewhere down the road you don't have a future. And I think that's the most important thing today," said Norwood Jewell, UAW Region 1-C director.

Flint's emergency manager is expected to sign the tax abatement request.

"Not only does it add new jobs but it also adds a sense of commitment to the community. It also signals a willingness to invest in the community," said Darnell Earley.

The tax abatement application has to reach Lansing by Oct. 31.

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