Economic impact of Goodyear closure extends beyond plant

Economic impact of Goodyear closure extends beyond plant

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:08 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Numbers from a variety of sources paint a relatively clear picture of just how significant was last week’s announcement by Goodyear that it will be shutting down its Union City tire plant.
Some of the numbers come from the Obion County Chamber of Com-merce. A report from the local chamber released at a meeting Friday afternoon shows at least 10 local industries will be directly affected by the Goodyear plant closure.
The list of 10 industries is dominated by local tool and die shops. The list identifies 221 employees who work at those industries.
That’s just one segment of the local economy that will be impacted by the closing of the local Goodyear plant.
The extent of the impact is expected to be considerably broader.
Now is the time when local and state officials are scrambling to determine just how big an impact the plant’s closing will have on the local and regional economy.
Some of the numbers come from the Obion County assessor of prop-erty’s office.
Assessor Judy Smith told The Messenger that Goodyear owns just over 114 acres where the plant is located. The plant has nearly 1,976,000 square feet under roof and is valued at $20,655,076, according to Mrs. Smith.
There is also an additional 50 acres that is Goodyear’s shooting range, valued at an additional $234,600, and there is an additional 18 acres that is bordered by Perry Browder Road, Mount Zion Road and the Goodyear bypass that is valued at $274,500. Also, Goodyear owns an additional 388 acres of farmland behind the plant, which includes Goodyear’s golf course, which is valued at $1,897,000, according to Mrs. Smith.
The property value figures are relevant as they apply to local property tax revenues that fund a wide range of county services.
Some of the numbers come from a 2009 economic impact study done by Younger Associates in Jackson.
In that study, which was distributed at Friday’s chamber meeting, the Jackson consulting firm estimates the Goodyear plant directly supported 2,066 jobs in 2009, representing $132,005,000 in wages. Also, it was estimated the tire plant indirectly supported an additional 1,439 jobs in the region, representing $52,099,046 in wages.
Combined, the salary impact from direct and indirect jobs from the Goodyear plant total more than $184 million, according to the report.
“Total tax revenues realized by Obion County from the operations of the Goodyear facilities totaled $5.6 million in 2008 and $4.5 million in 2009,” the report states in part. “Included in the Direct Property Tax paid by Goodyear is a total of $363,701 that is apportioned to the Obion County/Union City Schools.”
The Younger Associates report estimated the local sales tax impact for Obion County was $3.38 million in 2008 and $2.6 million in 2009. The plant also has a significant impact on other local taxes and property taxes in the county, according to the report.
The report goes on to provide a breakdown of the Goodyear plant’s economic impact on the region, which encompasses Obion, Lake, Weakley and Gibson counties in Tennessee and Fulton and Hickman counties in Kentucky.
Regionally, the report estimated the local sales tax impact on the six-county region was $3,424,776 in 2008 and $2,641,747 in 2009.
All these figures and other economic impact estimates are being used by local, regional and state economic development officials to fully understand the impact the closure of the local Goodyear plant will have on the economy of Obion County and the entire region.
Published in The Messenger 2.15.11

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