EDC Certifying Rivian Performance | WGLT

EDC Certifying Rivian Performance

Feb 13, 2018

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said Rivian Automotive has earned its property tax abatement for the year.

EDC CEO Kyle Ham said the startup electric automaker has had a successful first year in the Twin Cities.

Ham is briefing taxing bodies that he has certified Rivian's expenditures to qualify for the roughly $300,000 in property tax abatements.

First on the list was closing the purchase of the former Mitsubishi auto plant in Normal. The company also had to make a certified level of improvements to the plant in its first year of ownership.

Ham told GLT that a substantial portion of the $1 million spent improving the plant stayed in central Illinois.

"There are quite a few local businesses they have been working with. I would say maybe a third or a little more (of the total expenditures)," said Ham.

Ham said Rivian has already hired about 35 people. That is one of the benchmarks for 2018 to continue receiving property tax breaks.

"And the next level of investment is $10 million. Now we are talking much larger sums being pushed into this property in preparation for what we believe in 2019, production," said Ham.

Ham said he has no doubt the benefits granted by the county, Unit 5, the Town of Normal, and other smaller taxing bodies are benefiting the community.

He said without that, the former owner of the plant had demolition contracts in hand. And with concrete going down 20 feet in some places, Ham said there would have been very few cost-effective possibilities of ever repurposing the property.

After Ham finishes presenting his records and certification, area taxing bodies would be required to approve the tax abatements.

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