Mercury Marine to Repay State Incentives

Mercury Marine will pay back all state tax incentives with interest received from legislation crafted earlier this year meant to incentivize the company to remain in Oklahoma, House Speaker Chris Benge said.
In a letter to Benge, officials with the company said they will refund the state money received as a result of legislation — Senate Bill 929 — signed into law earlier this year, which allowed the company to continue to claim a property tax exemption. Company officials also said they will pay back interest collected on the money.
The legislation included a “clawback provision” calling for any incentives to be repaid if the company leaves the state prior to 2012.
The company announced last week it will move jobs from its Stillwater plant to Wisconsin after a union vote there conceding to steep wage concessions.
“We are obviously very disappointed with the outcome,” said Benge, R-Tulsa. “This move will be hard on the Stillwater community, and we will do everything we can as a state to help these workers with retraining in this transition and will continue our efforts to keep unemployment low by attracting additional jobs to our state.
“The company is doing the right thing by paying the money back to the state, which is exactly why we included a clawback provision in this bill to protect taxpayers in the event of company relocation or closure,” Benge said.
Part of the deal to keep the jobs in Wisconsin required a wage freeze and 30 percent pay cut for new hires and workers called back before layoffs.
Mercury Marine, a boat engine manufacturer that has operated in Stillwater for over three decades, cited the global economic recession as its reason for cutting company operations.

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