Texarkana OKs $250M Cooper Tire deal
TEXARKANA — Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. will get up to $250 million in financing and a property tax break, the Texarkana Board of Directors decided Monday.
At its regular meeting, the board approved issuing industrial revenue bonds to fund improvements to Cooper’s Texarkana plant and agreed to a 65 percent reduction in property tax on anything bought with the bonds.
Cooper might not need all the bonds authorized, according to the city’s bond counsel, Thomas Leggett of Little Rock law firm Friday, Eldredge & Clark.
“These bonds are not to exceed $250 million, which means the company would just draw down periodically what it would take for capital costs over a period of five years. And if it takes the full amount, then that’s what we’re going to draw down. If not, it’s just whatever the company needs for the capital costs,” he said.
The money will pay for capital and equipment at the plant over about five years, said Curtis Schneekloth, manager of Cooper’s Texarkana distribution center.
The deal will not cost anything to taxpayers and the city will never be liable to repay the bonds, Leggett said.
The city will issue the bonds on behalf of Cooper, which will be solely responsible for repaying them. The city will own title to any property bought with the bonds and lease it back to Cooper, with the company’s lease payments going toward servicing the bond debt. When the bonds are paid off, the title will transfer to Cooper.