Lordstown Motors Poised for Tax Exemptions Under Ohio Bill

Signage outside Lordstown Motors Corp. headquarters in Lordstown, Ohio. (Dustin Franz/Bloomberg)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio House passed a bipartisan bill that would give Lordstown Motors a four-year sales tax exemption on engines, transmissions, batteries, brakes and other components that are unique to the production of electric vehicles.

House Bill 292 would offer the tax exemption to all companies involved in production of electric vehicle products, including plug-in motor vehicles and their charging stations, as well as vehicles that are battery-powered, hydrogen-powered or powered by alternative powertrain technology. The exemption would expire Dec. 31, 2026.

An analysis by legislative staff, however, didn’t provide an estimate of lost revenues to the state and local governments and the Public Library Fund, since it said that a significant number of tangible property exempted in the bill may already be exempted under existing law.

“The extent to which the bill may expand the existing manufacturing exemptions is unclear, so the bill may result in fiscal losses, though any sales tax revenue decreases may be small,” the analysis said.

Lordstown Motors Corp. is the only electric-vehicle maker in Ohio, although it hasn’t begun commercial-scale production yet.

The company has been besieged with financial problems and notified regulators in June that it didn’t have the money to start production. The company’s CEO and chief financial officer resigned after questions about the number of preorders it had on its truck, the Endurance. There are questions about whether the company, promoted as a potential savior of the Youngstown area, will have enough cash to even stay in business.

HB 292 also would create a commission to gather an inventory of existing vehicle product facilities and production capacity, and would study the number of skilled and unskilled workers, and opportunities for job training in the sector.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Lisa Sobecki, a Toledo Democrat, and Al Cutrona, a Mahoning County Republican, heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

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