The state took over the project and ownership of the land from the JDA to bypass zoning votes. The state also set up four committees to address community concerns. The first public meeting was held last week, and members of Site Design and Environmental Committee received an earful from upset residents.
"We're surprised they are planning to sign any important agreements after only one of 16 planned public meetings," landowner Felton Jenkins said of the state, the JDA and the automaker. "Also, (the) state most importantly needs to form a fifth committee to find an appropriate location for the massive Rivian factory complex. Two thousand acres of greenspace in rural Georgia is a wholly inappropriate site."
A spokeswoman for Rivian declined to comment until the deal is signed.
The news release included few details about the agreement. Rivian is expected to receive certain tax exemptions but also enter into a payment in lieu of taxes agreement (PILOT) on the site. The PILOT fees will recoup schools and local governments of some of the tax revenue not collected under terms of the incentive package.
The release said the land where Rivian will build its plant currently generates about $80,000 in tax revenue annually. That will increase to $1.5 million annually for six years starting in 2023 and increase to $12 million in the seventh year. If Rivian exceeds its planned investment of $5 billion, the company will also pay increased PILOT fees under a defined schedule.
The agreement also outlines standards for water quality, groundwater recharge, runoff, and other local, state and federal environmental requirements.
"Opportunity like this not only translates into new jobs for our families, but it also means more resources and growth for our counties, providing the opportunity to reduce the tax burden on local homeowners, improve schools and invest in parks, trails and public safety," JDA Chairman Jerry Silvio said in the release.
Rivian will still be required to obtain all necessary permits for construction, state officials have said.©2022 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.