It's a sad Christmas for Cooper Tire workers in Albany, Ga. They get the axe while jobs are preserved at Texarkana, Ohio and Mississippi plants.
We know the Texarkana workers took a broad range of pay and benefit concesssions.No report yet on what Arkansas threw into Cooper's red kettle in return for preserving jobs. But the state did pitch in. Too bad nobody in Texarkana pays the state income tax to help contribute to the state corporate welfare fund. And that the lion's share of retail spending is in Texas.
Rep. Steve Harrelson of Texarkana has information on why Georgia fell short -- cost of changing and operating the plant. Even counting a $30 million corporate welfare handout from Georgia. The final decision was always going to be about cost and the state bribes are just lagniappe. If states would get together and agree not to cut each others' throats while being held hostage by corporate extortion artists, there'd be no doubt that the decision would be made on a rational basis and the outcome likely would be the same. I'm happy for those who still have jobs; sorry for those who don't; sorry it's an article of faith that American industry has become, well, socialized to this extent.
UPDATE: More to come, but Matt DeCample in the governor's office says the state's direct initial payment is $2 million from the governor's quick closing fund. The plant will earn further incentives, but only through the creation of new jobs. Local sources are also making a contribution. It's unknown at this minute whether Texas, a primary beneficiary, contributed to the handouts. DeCample said the total Arkansas contribution almost certainly will be less than the $30 million offered by both Georgia and Mississippi.
AEDC offers this summary of state incentives:
· $2 million Quick Action Fund for plant infrastructure and equipment installation
Performance Based Incentives
· InvestArk – Sales tax credit, 6.5% of capital investment
· Advantage Arkansas – Income Tax Credit – 2% of payroll for NEW EMPLOYEES ONLY for 5 years. DOES NOT INCENT EXISTING EMPLOYEES
· Create Rebate – 5% rebate for 10 years of payroll for NEW EMPLOYEES ONLY. DOES NOT INCENT EXISTING EMPLOYEES