ARLINGTON -- The City Council will consider granting General Motors a 90 percent tax abatement and other incentives Tuesday to help persuade the company to expand its Arlington assembly plant.
The plant, which opened more than 50 years ago, is competing with other GM facilities nationwide to build the company's next generation of sport utility vehicles. If Arlington is selected, GM is planning a $254 million expansion and retooling, which would bring 110 new jobs and millions of dollars of revenue to the city as well as retain 2,300 existing jobs, officials said.
"The more money GM puts into this plant, the more valuable it is, the more vested they are and the less chance of them ever leaving," economic development specialist Andrea Roy said about why Arlington is considering a tax break.
On Tuesday night, the council is set to vote on the incentive agreement after a public hearing. General Motors has requested a 90 percent tax abatement on both its real property and personal business property values for the expansion, which would save the company nearly $1.2 million a year. That deal, if approved, would be effective for 10 years.
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The city is also considering waiving up to $50,000 in building permit and other developer fees that the company would normally pay on such an expansion.
"General Motors is one of the cornerstones of Arlington. The plant has given so much to our community," Councilman Robert Rivera said. "In this historic economic downturn, Arlington must do everything it can proactively to attract and retain jobs."
The Arlington plant, which produces Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs, and Cadillac Escalades, manufactures 280,000 vehicles a year.
Even with the tax break, Arlington estimates that the plant expansion will have a net $5.5 million economic impact on the city during its first 10 years, Roy said.
GM is also seeking incentives from the state and a 70 percent tax abatement from Tarrant County, which would cost the county and its hospital district about $3.4 million over 10 years, officials have said.
General Motors has a 90 percent tax abatement from the city on its business personal property connected to a 2004 expansion. That abatement ends in 2014. The company now pays Arlington about $1.3 million in taxes a year, Roy said.
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639