COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Senate passed a $1.3 billion incentive package for Scout Motors on Tuesday. Scout Motors is the company that just recently announced it’s going to set up shop in Richland County to make electric cars.
“I’ve come to the conclusion because of the potential scope of this project that I’m okay with $1.3 billion as long as South Carolinians get the benefit of the jobs," Edgefield County Senator Shane Massey said.
In discussions about the electric car manufacturer, Massey requested the company hire locally. He says this could help with South Carolina population retention.
“I think we have the people in South Carolina to do those jobs, We definitely have people here," Massey said. "I am concerned about their ability right now to compete for those jobs."
While it may keep South Carolinians in the state, there were concerns about using taxpayer dollars for the $1.3 billion package.
“The way that we compete in the marketplace of states is having a favorable tax environment, reducing taxes or having a favorable cost of living,” Spartanburg Senator Josh Kimbrell said.
Despite that concern, the package passed on Tuesday afternoon.
“It's a done deal now. It'll go to the governor's desk and he'll sign it and we'll be seeing Scout come to South Carolina, which is exciting," Lexington County Senator Nikki Setzler said. "Bringing over 4,000 jobs and over $2 billion in investment in this state."
The incentive package passed with 29 votes in favor and 10 opposed. Scout’s plant will be built near Blythewood. Work on it is expected to start as early as this summer.
The company hopes to start building cars three years from now.
CORRECTION: A previous version of the story misstated the passage of a resolution. Senator Shane Massey introduced an amendment that requested that Scout Motors hire 80% of its 4,000 jobs locally. This amendment was tabled. We regret the error.