OKLAHOMA CITY (April 7) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld the validity of a $66.3 million bond issue designed to provide funds to pay or reimburse Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc. for a portion of the costs of expanding their Oklahoma plants.
With the bond issue, Goodyear's project will be aided with an amount not to exceed $36.7 million, and Michelin will be assisted with an amount not to exceed $29.6 million. Goodyear is spending $250 million at its Lawton, Okla., factory while Michelin has budgeted a $200 million investment in its Ardmore, Okla., facility.
The state legislature in 2002 passed the bond issue to help the tire makers with the expansion plans to create more jobs and increase job security, according to a March 2003 statement by the bill's Senate authors. "The legislation has proven already to be a tremendous economic development tool," Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, one of three authors, said in the statement.
The law was challenged by an attorney who argued it was unconstitutional on the grounds that taxes should be levied for public purposes only, prohibiting the state from granting a corporation an exclusive right, privilege or immunity.