Following Carrier move, company may have to pay back tax incentives

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 15, 2016) - Millions of dollars were given to Carrier to keep their production plant in Indianapolis. The company announced last week that they were moving the plant, along with its 1,400 jobs, to Mexico, in order to cut costs.

That announcement received a ton of national backlash and now, city and state governments may be demanding money back that Carrier was given to stay in Indiana.

Carrier cited high costs as the reason they decided to move the plant to Mexico. Carrier’s parent company, a Fortune 500 company, profited $56 billion in 2015.

The news came as a complete shock to the 1,400 employees at the Indianapolis plant last week, especially considering the company agreed to a multi-million dollar expansion in 2011. The city provided a six year tax abatement, which got Carrier out of paying nearly $1 million in city property taxes.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett promised to get that money back.

“If there have been incentives given to them that were based on commitments the company made, then we’re going to force them to honor their commitments,” he said last week.

“Especially given the fact they were given millions of dollars by the federal government, it concerns me,” said U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D – Indianapolis).

The city isn’t the only group left hanging from a Carrier contract. In 2013, the feds gave Carrier $5.1 million in clean tax credits to ramp up production in Indy. Since 2013, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation gave Carrier almost $200,000 dollars in employee training grants.

Since Carrier is still under contract in Indianapolis, all that money will likely be taken back.

Carson blamed unfair trade agreements, like NAFTA, that make it easy for American companies to move American jobs overseas.

“We have tax loopholes that need to be closed and we have members of congress who are supporting these damaging trade deals that ship our jobs overseas, it must stop,” he said.

The move even made national headlines. In the latest republican presidential debate Saturday, Donald Trump weighed in.

“You're going to go to Mexico across the border with no tax, I'm going to tell them I'm going to get consensus from Congress and we're going to tax you when those air conditioners come so stay where you are or build in the United States,” he said.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence weighed in Monday as well and said he had directed the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to assist in finding the 1,400 soon to be unemployed Hoosiers, new jobs.

Carrier responded to a request for comment, saying they have not received and will not claim the $5.1 million tax credit.

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