Imperial Valley Press
County announces new Lithium Valley Incentive Program
EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors held a press conference to introduce the new Lithium Valley Incentive Program which is meant to incentivize the development of lithium extraction and manufacturing in Imperial County.
The county and lithium extraction industry leaders gathered, on Tuesday, February 7, to announce that their new program will be threefold: property tax abatement, a lithium producers tax rebate, and a lithium users tax rebate.
According to District 4 Supervisor and Board Chairman Ryan Kelley, these three incentives will encourage lithium developments at all stages, though the primary focus was the manufacturing of batteries, to be localized within Imperial County.
“LG, Samsung, come to Imperial County,” Kelley said. “We will give you carne asada and show you where it is at.”
The largest of the three incentives is the property tax abatement, which according to Kelley, would allow for any new lithium investments that exceed $150 million to receive a 75% property tax abatement for up to 10 years.
The Lithium Producers Tax Rebate provides $50 tax rebate per metric ton from the Lithium Extraction Tax for lithium that is produced in Imperial County and sold to a company also located in Imperial County for manufacturing purposes.
Kelley explained that the Lithium Users Rebate would simply be the reverse of the Lithium Producers Tax Rebate, providing a $50 tax rebate per metric ton from the Lithium Extraction Tax for lithium purchased from an Imperial County based lithium producer that is being used by an Imperial Valley-based company in the manufacturing/assembly process.
These incentives be awarded on an individual basis, Kelley said, as a part of a Participation or Development Agreement considered by the Board of Supervisors.District 5 Supervisor John Hawk was also able to provide an update on Lithium Valley’s Specific Plan and the Environmental Impact Report, both of which are requirements for development in the state of California.
In July of 2022, Imperial County international agreement with Dudek and Associates to produce both the specific plant and the environmental impact report after the state of California provided
$3.5 million to produce the reports.
Currently both reports are in the process of being written, and Hawk was able to announce that public participation in community workshops and technical advisory groups began in January of 2023.
“We expect that both the Specific Plan and the Environmental Impact Report will be completed by early 2024,” Hawk said.