The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) tonight voted to refund about $1.47 million in tax money to the parish’s property owners that had been collected two years ago for the ill-fated V-Vehicle/Next Autoworks project. That money was the first year’s installment of about $15 million that was pledged on behalf of local taxpayers as a gift to the company in the event that the project got off the ground. It was collected for tax year 2009 only.
The company last month announced the termination of the project due to the inability to secure some $320 million in loans from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program.
Tonight’s action puts paid to a 2 1/2 year saga for the OPPJ that began with the jury voting in July of 2009 to put the tax proposition on the ballot. The proposition was narrowly passed by Ouachita Parish voters in October of 2009.
Also at the July meeting, a accompanying resolution was passed pledging to refund the tax money if the project didn’t materialize
Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) covered the story continually from the beginning and had more comprehensive coverage (over 150 stories) on the issue than any other news agency, local or state.
See here the archives.