State lawmakers have relaxed the labor requirement — from 5,000 employees to 4,500 — that Toyota Motor North America Inc. must meet to qualify for the full amount of state economic incentives for its battery plant. of Triad electric vehicles.
House Bill 911 primarily included regulatory relief legislation and received significant bipartisan support.
Although Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper opposed other sections of the bill, he eventually allowed it to become law on July 11 without his signature.
HB911 was used to modify the Toyota-focused section in House Bill 103, the Republican-sponsored 2022-23 state budget bill. Toyota is not listed by name in either bill.
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The main change was the reduction of the long-term employment commitment by 500, which depended on the entry into force of HB103.
Legislators tend to employ this tactic of changing legislation in a separate bill to keep the original language intact to avoid possible “no” votes on the main bill.
The bipartisan sponsors of the sports betting bill attempted a similar tactic with Senate Main Bill 688 and Senate Amended Bill 38.
In December, Toyota’s business unit selected the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite for a planned $1.29 billion production plant that is expected to have 1,750 employees when production begins in 2025.
Toyota Battery Manufacturing NC will build lithium batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The manufacturer has been made eligible for up to $271.4 million in state incentives, while the Randolph County government is providing $167.3 million in local incentives.
At that time, Toyota and state economic officials suggested a second phase could create an additional 5,000 jobs by December 31, 2034.
HB103 indicates what lawmakers are prepared to offer in Toyota’s second production phase: $225 million in incentives in exchange for a $4.7 billion capital investment commitment and a promise of job creation of at least 5,000 jobs.
The lowering of the job creation commitment to 4,500 is included in HB911 and was dependent on the entry into force of HB103.
At $4.7 billion, the second phase could also become the largest economic development project in state history.
John H. Boyd, founder and director of global site selection company The Boyd Co. of Boca Raton, Fla., said the inclusion of the Phase Two incentive package in HB103 and HB911 is a clear signal. that the initial phase “is in progress”. Track.”
“It’s money well spent,” Boyd said.
“North Carolina cannot continue on autopilot and take economic development success for granted. Other states are increasing their marketing budgets, including expanded initiatives to attract new foreign direct investment from Europe and Asia.