MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — As the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference wrapped up Thursday, there was a full-court press on new tax incentives to promote what supporters say could be thousands of new jobs.
Business and political leaders joined in a bipartisan plea to get the state House to pass a Senate bill that would create tax incentives for big job providers.
Many in Lansing have previously said they opposed similar incentives, but Gov. Rick Snyder said these breaks — unlike some in the past — make sense.
”To be blunt, some of the stuff we had historically at one point probably was a good idea and it got modified and changed to the point of being dumb,” Snyder said.
Supporters say the plan would allow personal income tax of those new jobs to be captured by companies with a cap of $250 million a year and safeguards.
“It’s accountability because it’s audited, it’s not transferable. You can’t sell it to someone else. This makes sure that we stay accountable on a year-by-year basis,” bill sponsor Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said.
The people buying into the plan are from labor and business, Democrats and Republicans — and even local city leaders.
“We are 100 percent behind this legislation,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said.
The governor says there are companies ready to move to Michigan with lots of jobs and this legislation would help that happen.
“I can tell you this first person. These are either companies I’ve talked to or consultants or people working with these companies. We have opportunities — a couple that are in the 2,000-plus job range that are active opportunities. I can tell you these are above average wage jobs, too,” Snyder said. “Your next question is going to be who. I’m not going to tell you. I can’t tell you, but I can look you straight in the eye and tell you these are real things.”
That bill is still pending in the House. A media event Thursday was meant to put pressure on the lower chamber.
The governor said he would like to see action on that bill in the next month.