By on January 18, 2010
So many games to play (courtesy:sunherald.com)
Mississippi is starting to get a bit shirty with Toyota. ABC News reports that Mississippi legislators are getting annoyed with Toyota because of the lack of clarity as to when Toyota will start paying the interest on the money the state borrowed to bring Toyota’s car plant to Mississippi. Tate Reeves, State treasurer,  told lawmakers during a briefing that discussions are ongoing about when Toyota would begin making payments. The State of Mississippi has already paid about $16.7 million in interest. However, Toyota have a different take on affairs.

Barbara McDaniel, spokesperson for external affairs at Toyota North America, said that the company had already agreed to start paying the interest back in April. She claims that an agreement was reached with state officials just after the company halting building of the plant due to the  economic downturn. It is also worth noting that in the original agreement, Toyota wasn’t required to pay interest on any of these loans taken out by the state of Mississippi. “This was a voluntary thing that Toyota offered to the governor and state because we’re not going to be able to meet our original startup agreement,” McDaniel said Thursday. “We were supposed to be building cars by 2010.”

Johnny Stringer, House Appropiations Committee Chairman, got a little snippy, “At some point in time they need to start paying the interest. I hope I’m still living when they do,”, clearly forgetting that Toyota are doing this voluntary. Another elected official who got snippy with Toyota was Cecil Brown “It was represented to us that they were paying it, and now we’re hearing that they’re not,” Brown said. To be honest, I’m confused. Toyota have stated quite clearly that they intend to start paying interest, on the $324 million loans which the state of Mississippi took out, in April, despite the fact that they don’t have to. What’s so hard to understand?

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