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In 2016, the Normal Town Council approved an economic incentive agreement with Rivian Automotive relating to the company’s location and operation of an automobile manufacturing facility formerly owned by Mitsubishi. As per the agreement, the town of Normal—and other affected taxing bodies—agreed to abate Rivian’s property taxes for five years, provided that the EV automaker met specific criteria.
Rivian was given the following benchmarks for reductions in its 2020 property taxes, paid in 2021:
- Invest at least $32,000,000 in project expenses
- Employ 300 full-time employees with an average salary equal to greater than the average weekly salary in McLean County as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor
According to the Economic Development Council’s Patrick Hoban, Rivian met 2020’s benchmarks and the following year’s abatement criteria.
“The original plan, as you know, was to create about 500 jobs, and I think they’re about at 1,300,” Hoban noted.
Zach Dietmeier, Rivian’s Senior Manager, Plant Communications in Normal, Illinois—not-so-subtly hinted that the EV automaker actually employed more than 1,300 people thus far. He shared that Rivian surpassed 1,400 hires as of May 3, noting that the company adds 50 to 80 employees per week at its current pace. Dietmeier also elaborated that Rivian has contributed 1,800 construction jobs at its peak to Normal, IL, separate from the jobs directly linked to the company.
Councilwoman Karyn Smith added that Rivian exceeded its expected investment of $32 million by 2020 ten times over. As of May 3, Rivian has invested $300 million in the town of Normal, Illinois.
The Town Council seemed pleased with Rivian’s progress and adherence to the abatement agreement. Following the unanimous approval for the property tax abatement, Council members approved Rivian’s plans to expand its manufacturing factory.