Haveman: Close eye on LG Chem tax break

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The US Department of Energy's $151 million federal grant for LG Chem wasn't all that lured the company to build their plant in Holland. There was also the lure of $125 million in state tax credits.

Those tax credits would be up to $25 million a year for four years - based on LG Chem's investment and job creation - and another $25 million over 15 years based on jobs.

Though the company has not yet filed for any tax credits -- and the state is not out any money yet -- the chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee said the state is keeping a close eye on the plant after a federal audit forced LG Chem to repay $842,000 in misused funds for workers who were playing cards and board games and volunteering in the community.

The audit was triggered by a Target 8 investigation.

It raised questions about whether taxpayers would ever benefit from the investment. The plant in Holland has yet to produce a battery for sale, in part because of sluggish sales for the Chevrolet Volt and because LG Chem didn't shift production from South Korea, as was expected.

"The feds are finding things out that we suspected but didn't know for sure, so certainly there's going to be added scrutiiny," said Rep. Joe Haveman (R-Holland.) "Michigan taxpayers are not on the hook for it yet and have not been taken advantage of by this company. I don't want to lead people to believe we've lost their money without seeing the batteries produced and the jobs created."

In order to qualify for the biggest of the tax breaks, LG Chem must have 300 employees by the end of 2015. Currently, they employ about 150.

Copyright 2014 WOOD TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Political Pulse

Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!

Like It
Don't Like It


We welcome your thoughtful comments. Be the first to participate in the discussion. All comments will display your username and avatar.


Add a Comment

Sign in or join now to post a comment. All comments will display your username and avatar.


Michigan (change)

Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor: Brian Calley
Attorney General: Bill Schuette
Secretary of State: Ruth Johnson

Contacting the White House and Congress

Click the links below to get in touch with your elected officials.