The state’s new plan to attract business has the backing of thumb lawmakers


A new plan that has made its way through the state legislature to retain and attract businesses to Michigan has the backing of thumb area lawmakers.

State Senator Dan Lauwers, a Republican from Brockway Township, said the Make it in Michigan plan would better position Michigan as a leading state for private industry to invest and create jobs.

The three bills passed would create three different but related funds. Senate Bill 769 would create the Strategic Awareness and Attraction Reserve Fund within the Ministry of Labor and Economic Opportunities. It would receive funds through a legislative vote and could transfer them to the other two funds created.

Senate Bill 770 would create the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Fund, which would provide grants, loans, and other economic aid to eligible applicants to conduct activities that would create investments.

Senate Bill 771 would create the Critical Industry Fund, which would provide funds for qualified investments to businesses for the making of deals, gap financing, or any other economic assistance that would create new skilled jobs or investments in capital.

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunities must submit reports on each of the three funds to each legislator, the governor, the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Senate and House tax agencies by March 15 of each. year. Otherwise, no dollars from the undeclared fund can be distributed until the report is submitted.

All bills were passed by the Senate by a 27-10 vote and the House by a 93-10 vote, with Lauwers excused for the vote and State Representative Phil Green, a Republican from Millington, voting for. Lauwers’ family tested positive for COVID, so he had to self-quarantine when the vote took place.

Lauwers said those plans have been in the works since Ford announced in September that it was expanding its electric vehicle manufacturing operations to Kentucky and Tennessee.

“As the birthplace of the auto industry, Michigan faced the harsh reality that it must act to stay competitive and retain and attract job providers to our state,” Lauwers said in a statement. “At the same time, it was important not to repeat the mistakes of the past with business incentive plans that are bad for taxpayers. “

Lauwers added that the Big Three automakers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were all working on major projects and state lawmakers wanted to make sure Michigan was in the running for them and didn’t want to see the big factories. displaced to other states.

Instead of being tax breaks or government money going to businesses, these funds would invest in developing the land and infrastructure needed to accommodate and maintain large projects.

“It was one of the things Ford cited,” Lauwers said. “We don’t have enough large lots with sewage and water available. “

The projects would also impact Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers for manufacturers, because if manufacturers leave the state, their suppliers will move with them.

If a new development obtaining funds does not meet the agreed terms, it would be terminated so that there are no significant tax credits weighing on the state. Any funds not used by the end of the year would revert to the state.

The Senate also passed a supplementary line item that would designate $ 1 billion for these programs.

Under the approved legislation, the personal property tax exemption would be increased from $ 80,000 to $ 180,000 for small businesses to help offset losses suffered due to COVID-19.

“Small businesses in Michigan are still struggling to recover from the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lauwers said. “Adjusting the PPT exemption is a smart way to reduce their tax burden so that they can focus on growing their business. At the same time, we knew that this change would have an impact on local governments, so it was important to ensure that they could continue to operate and provide services. These changes, along with the Make it in Michigan plan, will go a long way in boosting our local and national economies, which is good for all of us. “

Lauwers acknowledged that even with this decline in personal property tax exemptions, Michigan would still have higher property tax rates than surrounding states.

The Senate passed another $ 724 million supplementary budget for fiscal 2022, funded by federal grants in response to COVID-19. It includes the following elements:

  • $ 150 million to help K-12 schools cope with COVID testing
  • $ 193 million to help local airports and rural transport companies
  • $ 14 million to hire nurses in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • $ 10 million to support Teach for America to address the state’s teacher shortage
  • $ 1 million for the St. Clair County Convention Center
  • $ 100,000 in public funds to support mental health services in the community of Oxford High School

All of these will go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office for signature and take effect immediately upon signing.


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