ExxonMobil is withdrawing its pending 2017 Industrial Tax Exemption requests, which were recently rejected by the East Baton Rouge School Board and were scheduled to be voted on by the Metro Council Wednesday evening.
The company cites the “ongoing local uncertainty” surrounding the ITEP program in Baton Rouge as the reason for its withdrawal, according to an Exxon news release this afternoon.
“Due to the uncertainty, we will have to assume there is no ITEP incentive as we make cost projections on future investment opportunities in Louisiana,” states the release, penned by several local Exxon officials: Polyolefins Plant Manager Stephen Hamilton, Chemical Plant Manager Dave Luecke, Refinery Manager Gloria Moncada and Plastics Plant Manager Angela Zeringue.
ExxonMobil was seeking two property tax breaks worth approximately $2.9 million over 10 years—one for work at its Baton Rouge refinery and the other for its polyolefins plant. Work for both was completed in 2017.
With this decision to withdraw, Exxon officials say they now must reassess previously projected costs for the expansion projects.
“This may include a reduction in investments that grow jobs, expand operations or support community projects,” the release reads. “Our hope is that the current business environment will change to help us bring investment and jobs to this region when we need it most.”
The news comes in the same month that Georgia Pacific, Thompson Pipe and BASF announced workforce reduction plans—or closures—in the Baton Rouge market, impacting nearly 1,000 jobs.