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Lordstown Motors penalized for missed tax bill

10 percent fine added to $570,957 owed on 4 properties

LORDSTOWN — Lordstown Motors Corp. skipped its first-half 2020 property tax payment in March, racking up a hefty penalty in doing so.

Records from the Trumbull County Auditor’s and Treasurer’s offices show the startup electric-truck manufacturer did not pay the $570,957 tax bill due March 5 for four pieces of property it owns, including the land where its assembly factory in Lordstown sits.

Because the company missed the deadline, it was assessed a 10 percent penalty that’s added to the bill.

According to parcel data with the auditor’s office, Lordstown Motors owes $424,109 for 386.6 acres it owns at 2300 Hallock Young Road, which is the location of the factory, the former General Motors assembly complex.

It also owes $143,603 for 152 acres on Ellsworth Bailey Road; $3,041 for 47.2 acres at 1829 Hallock Young Road; and $203.95 for 13.5 acres also on Hallock Young Road, according to the parcel data.

The late penalty for all is $57,095.

Another $570,958 is due to the county by Aug. 6, the deadline to pay second-half property taxes. If Lordstown Motors misses that payment, it would be considered delinquent.

A company spokesman said the tax situation is being rectified.

The company bought the factory and land in November 2019 for $20 million from General Motors, which facilitated the purchase with a $40 million line of credit, after the automaker closed the facility about seven months prior.

It’s been rough sledding as of late for Lordstown Motors.

The company’s stock tumbled in March when a biting short-sellers report was released, claiming Lordstown Motors mislead its investors about preorders and the production schedule for its battery-powered truck, the Endurance.

Four investor class-action federal lawsuits followed, all making similar claims. The lawsuits have been combined. CEO Steve Burns since has said the company always has been transparent about the preorders.

It was also in March when Burns revealed publicly the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had asked the company for information. Documents the company filed with the SEC showed the probe was initiated on Feb. 17, a full month before Burns’ announcement during the company’s first-ever earnings call.

Burns said the company is complying with the SEC, which a filing shows sought information regarding, in part, Lordstown Motors’ merger in October with DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., a special purpose acquisition company based in New York.

Last week, financial services and investment firm Goldman Sachs downgraded Lordstown Motors stock — traded on the Nasdaq exchange — from buy to neutral and lowered its 12-month price target to $10 from $21, citing recent issues Lordstown Motors had at the SCORE San Felipe 250 Baja race on April 17.

An off-road version of the Endurance, one of two electric vehicles in the grueling desert race, completed 40 miles of the 280-mile course. It had to stop after the first stage when data showed energy consumption was greater than the company had anticipated, but the company reported it finished the stage intact and operationally sound.

The company at the end of March also revealed the first of the prototype trucks that will be used for testing.

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