Toyo Tire North America has signed an agreement with Bartow Country that will help raise funding to expand its Cartersville plant.

The U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese tire company plans to hire 470 workers over the next few years in what will be the second major expansion of its factory since arriving in Georgia in 2006. 

The agreement, signed on July 12 by Jim Hawk, the company’s president, and James Jarrett, chairman of the Cartersville-Bartow Joint Development Authority, allows the development authority to offer financial incentives to Toyo in return for a commitment to expand its operations in Bartow County. 

As part of the deal, the development authority has increased the amount that Toyo can borrow using industrial development bonds by $910 million. 

These bonds provide more favorable interest rates than if the company borrowed the money directly, and exempt Toyo from federal taxation on finances raised by selling the bonds.

Using these bonds allows Toyo to take advantage of a major property tax deduction. Over time, the company makes increasing payments until the value of the payments reaches the normal property tax rate.

This mechanism is intended to defer upfront risk by allowing the company to keep more capital to deal with immediate construction costs as it expands, said Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development.

Toyo must hire 470 workers by 2020 to receive the incentives. The agreement is similar to a deal brokered when the company first landed in Cartersville in 2004 and was a key reason the company chose the city, which sits about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta.

“This agreement is a great example of the kind of business-friendly environment we pride ourselves on here in Georgia,” said Gov. Nathan Deal, who attended the signing.

Mr. Hawk echoed Mr. Deal, praising the efforts of the state and Bartow County to make Toyo feel welcome. 

“The pro-business environment and cooperation from the state of Georgia and Bartow County have exceeded our expectations. Our start-up and growth have proceeded more quickly than planned,” he said. 

He added that another factor of Toyo Tire’s success is the Georgia Quick Start workforce training program.

Toyo opened its 900,000-square-foot plant in 2006, and expanded the facility by 820,000 square feet in 2008. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...