Cooper Tire & Rubber’s Texarkana plant employs about 2,000 workers. (Mark Friedman)
The Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors on Monday authorized up to $250 million in industrial development revenue bonds for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Citing “competitive reasons,” Cooper would not provide Arkansas Business with details about how it planned to use the bonds. But Mayor Ruth Penney Bell said the bonds would help Cooper update its plant as needed over the next five to 10 years and expand if there is an opportunity to do so.
“We have to be aware that, for them to remain competitive, they have to be able to mechanize those parts of their industry that they can,” Bell said. “So this is just to give them a future resource and they will be using this for updates in their equipment as they are needed.”
City Manager Kenny Haskin said Cooper remains the city’s top employer, with more than 2,000 people working there. He said the bond deal “solidifies” the company’s commitment to the community.
Haskin said the city will issue the bonds on behalf of the company, with the company responsible for paying them off. Everything purchased through the bonds is owned by the city and leased by the company, with ownership transferring to Cooper when the bonds are repaid.
The board also approved a 65 percent reduction in property tax for Cooper.