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Auto Incentives Bill

A Louisville lawmaker is looking to enhance job creation in Kentucky's auto industry by amending a law that's already on the books.

House Speaker Pro Temp Larry Clark has filed House Bill 400 to update the 2007 Kentucky Jobs Retention Act, which helped bring 3,000 jobs to Ford plants in Louisville.

This year's bill would retract requirements that incentives only go to facilities in Louisville or Lexington. That would let Kentucky's other two car makers take advantage of the program.

"[The point is] to let Toyota and General Motors in Bowling Green take advantage of that tax incentive if they can meet those thresholds. Also for future automotive industries say if a battery plant wanted to come to Kentucky issues like that so it's a chance to create new opportunities for the automotive industry where we're third largest automotive state in America," says Clark.

The requirements for collecting the incentives will remain the same. Businesses must employ at least 1,000 workers and plan to spend more than $100 million.

Clark says he doesn't have any predictions for future investments, but notes Ford's growth after the 2007 bill became law.

"Ford Motor Company created up to 3,000 jobs, over $600 million dollar investment and I would think with the automobile market picking up, I hope we will have similar investments at both facilities," he says.

Clark says he doesn't see the bill having any problems passing both chambers and becoming law.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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