Bexar County Signs Off on Agreement to Entice New Toyota Line to San Antonio

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Toyota Tundra manufacturing line in the Southside, San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Toyota Texas.

Courtesy / Toyota Texas

The City’s agreement with Toyota calls for the automaker to spend up to $392 million to expand existing buildings and enhance production lines and equipment during the next three years.

County Commissioners approved on Tuesday a tax abatement for Toyota meant to sway the Japanese automaker to bring a new production line to its San Antonio plant.

The agreement with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, which the County began negotiating in June, is a 10-year, 80 percent abatement of County ad valorem taxes on qualified and real property. At the current tax rate, that incentive would save Toyota more than $9 million during the 10 years, and net the County just less than $2 million in the same period.

The County’s incentive adds to the City’s offer in May of a tax abatement of 100 percent of Toyota’s new property taxes for the next eight years and a Chapter 380 Economic Development Fund (EDIF) grant of up to $621,000 for water infrastructure improvements.

The City’s agreement with Toyota calls for the automaker to spend up to $392 million to expand existing buildings and enhance production lines and equipment during the next three years, commit to using CPS Energy and San Antonio Water Systems exclusively for 14 years, and contribute $1 million to local education and workforce development initiatives during the next five years.

Toyota also would agree to retain its current employees, and pay all of its new and existing employees the City-mandated living wage.

The County’s agreement came with no additional workforce requirements.

Toyota company officials announced in March it was considering which of its North American factories would win millions of dollars in investment in production technology.

The “Next Generation Production Line Project” would require comprehensive modification of the existing dual vehicle production assembly line within the San Antonio plant that currently builds Tacoma and Tundra models.

But the new production line would bring long-term sustainability of the plant, according to the County’s economic development department proposal, allowing the plant to implement new technologies and processes which could allow for the production of additional vehicle models.

“The Toyota project is one we’ve been working for some time and it, along with several others in our pipeline, would certainly have a ripple effect that grows the manufacturing ecosystem in the region and presents an opportunity for local and new suppliers,” said Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.

In January 2018, Toyota chose Alabama over San Antonio for its new Toyota-Mazda manufacturing site even after San Antonio and Bexar County submitted an incentive application for the plant. At the time, local officials said the bid was something of a long shot, even with Toyota having an existing plant in San Antonio.

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