When Toyota-Mazda announced a joint manufacturing facility in north Alabama, many claimed the decision was based on Alabama’s decision to elect Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. The Business Council of Alabama’s CEO Bill Canary went so far as to praise Senator Richard Shelby for not supporting Roy Moore, which many believe pushed Jones over the top. I asked Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) about these claims on my radio show today and he said he doesn’t believe the election of now-Senator Doug Jones played a role in the decision.
“I have spoken to a representative of Toyota and he knows of no evidentiary basis to support that claim,” Brooks said.
Why this matters: This may seem like a trivial matter, but it is not. In order for Alabama to succeed in attracting outside investments, we must understand what brought the success to Alabama. Basing the victories on matters that were not considered, while ignoring the real reasons for success (economic incentives and a pro-business environment) helps no one.
— Toyota-Mazda’s new manufacturing facility will cost $1.6 billion dollars to build.
— The finished facility is expected to bring in 4,000 jobs and $5.2 billion dollars in salaries over the next 20 years.
— The state of Alabama and local governments gave Toyota-Mazda close to $800 million dollars in incentives, with a vast majority being in the form of tax abatement.
— Sen. Doug Jones was elected on Dec. 12, 2017, while conversations about this facility started long before anyone thought he would pull out the surprise victory.
Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.