Rivian has lost some tax breaks associated with a $5 billion vehicle plant the company plans to build in Georgia, east of Atlanta.
The key issue deals with property taxes connected with the land on which the plant would be built. Under the current deal, Rivian would lease the land from the state, and as a result avoid paying regular property taxes.
Rivian would save $700 million in property taxes over 25 years, though the company would be required to make bond payments totaling $300 million in lieu of those taxes during the period. The savings were part of an overall package of breaks and incentives worth $1.2 billion offered by Georgia.
However, Morgan County Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell ruled last week that Rivian, in accordance with state laws, should be required to pay the property taxes due to the level of control it will have over the land, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Trammell also rejected the state's request to validate an associated bond agreement, due to the request not having sufficient proof that it is "sound, reasonable and feasible.”
The Georgia Department of Economic Development and a local four-county joint development authority are considering appealing the decision, according to the Journal-Constitution.
The plant, which would be Rivian's second after the company's existing plant in Normal, Illinois, was first announced last December. Construction was due to start this year, with Rivian originally aiming for the first vehicles to roll off the production line at the site in 2024. The planned capacity was said to be 400,000 vehicles, or double the capacity of Rivian's existing plant.
Trammel seems to think the project is in doubt. “Rivian's cash reserves are quickly drying up, thus casting serious doubt on whether it will be able to commence, let alone complete, the project," Trammell wrote in her ruling.