Legislators to weigh VW incentives; OK not a given in light of UAW gains

Todd Gardenhire holds and speaks about a Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce e-mail he received during the Times Free Press sponsored Legislative Roundtable Tuesday at the newspaper on Tuesday. Rep JoAnne Favors listens at left.

State legislators from Hamilton County stopped short Tuesday of predicting that the General Assembly will approve incentives for Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant expansion in the wake of United Auto Workers gains at the factory.

"I start with a jaundiced view," said state Rep. Mike Carter about the incentives estimated at nearly $300 million, a large chunk of which is to come from the state.

Action on the VW incentives, negotiated last year by Gov. Bill Haslam and state economic development officials, is expected to come during the upcoming legislative session and with a backdrop of UAW activity at the plant.

"There will be discussions about additional incentives to Volkswagen," said state Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, R-Hixson, in a meeting with Times Free Press reporters and editors.