Opponents of the planned $5 billion Rivian electric vehicle factory asked a judge this week to overturn a Morgan County board's approval of a rental agreement with the company, alleging the deal violates the state constitution.
If the court agrees, it could threaten the project and invalidate some $700 million in future property tax savings that local officials offered to lure California-based Rivian to build its second factory in Georgia.
At issue is a rental agreement between a local development authority and Rivian on about 2,000 acres along I-20 that straddles Walton and Morgan counties where the factory will rise. Last month, the Morgan County Board of Tax Assessors ruled the agreement constituted a usufruct, a type of lease that does not make Rivian's interest in the property taxable.
The decision would allow Rivian to rent the land and future factory buildings without paying typical property taxes.