When electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian announced a new factory was coming to Georgia in December 2021, Georgia state officials rushed to offer the auto maker $1.5 billion in tax credits and subsidies. Now, Rivian is struggling and taxpayers are left with the bill, according to Reason Magazine.
Rivian wooed Georgia lawmakers with a massive $5 billion investment in a new factory “three times larger than Disneyland” in Social Circle, GA. Local officials soon delivered what was likely the largest incentive package in state history in May of 2022, complete with billions in tax credits and subsidies.
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Investors had high hopes for Rivian, betting it would do for trucks what Tesla did for sedans. Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Ford each invested billions, while retail investors lined up to invest in its initial public offering. Georgia was hoping to ride the wave of excitement by offering substantial subsidies in hopes of future tax revenue and jobs.
Unfortunately, the company once lauded as being on the cutting edge of the electric vehicle revolution has seen its economic outlook dampen in recent months. Securities and Exchange Commission filings revealed Rivian only produced 56 R1T trucks in 2021, and has since struggled to meet production and revenue targets.
Georgia used its taxpayers’ money to make a speculative investment in a hyped-up company that is now showing signs of faltering. While there may be a place for local governments to offer incentives to bring jobs and future revenue to rural areas, making a multi-billion dollar bet on an unproven company may turn out to be a foolish investment for Georgia.
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