Carol A. Overland, an attorney in Minnesota reports that Moventas is building a wind turbine gearbox manufacturing facility in Faribault, Minnesota. This company is in the middle of a nearly $145 million worldwide expansion.
She laments the cost of securing the facility …
• Corporate franchise tax exemption;
• Income tax exemption for operators or investors;
• Sales tax exemption on goods and services used in the zone;
• Property tax exemption on commercial and industrial improvements, but not the land;
• Wind energy production tax exemption;
• Employment credit for high-paying jobs.
And properly points out that the municipality will receive little to pay for infrastructure and schools.
The volume of the giveaway indicates what Newark is up against as it tries to secure a good owner for the Chrysler plant on Rt. 896. The State of Pennsylvania recently lured Gamesa, a Spanish company, with almost $20 million in grants and loans for its factory in Fairless Hills and another in western Pennsylvania. The Fairless Hills facility also is exempt from state and local property taxes until 2019. They will make wind turbine assemblies at the plant they took over from a steel manufacturer.
But as Ms. Overland points out
What about that Chrysler plant in Newark, Delaware that’s soon to be closed? Time for some wind manufacturing in the U.S.!
What about indeed? If these operations are economically viable, why do municipalities need to spend so lavishly to lure the manufacturing plants? If these are such high tech, green jobs, why are foreign firms leading the way? Questions that the new administration in both Dover and Washington will wrestle with, no doubt.
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