Michigan Lawmakers Giveaway over $7 Billion in Subsides

Taxpayer Funded Business Subsidies: Profits & Tax Breaks for them “Higher Taxes” for us Citizens

Business Subsidies or Road Tax Increase? In May you will decide at the Ballot Box. What do Lansing lawmakers do when they commit “grand theft” of our road fund monies on subsidies for economic development instead of on Michigan roads?

They let the taxpayers hang themselves by voting on a ballot proposal “tax increase” holding our roads hostage if we don’t vote yes.

The MEDC is like a bad movie titled, Michigan Taxpayers Subsidize the Wealthiest Businesses or how Michigan Taxpayer Funded Subsidies supply funds for Corporation profits.

“These subsidy awards are getting out of control,” said Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report.

http://www.wcpo.com/money/local-business-news/new-study-ranks-ohio-third-in-the-award-of-large-public-subsidies-for-company-expansion

Jennifer Granholm pursuing Toyota engineering center Economic Money

In 2005, Toyota landed a $38.9 million tax credit from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board to fuel the expansion of its technical center in York Township.

http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/bob-lutz-criticizes-jennifer-granholm-for-pursuing-toyota-engineering-center/

Michigan Taxpayers Pony Up Subsidies for Toyota…Yet Again!

What’s the old saying, third times a charm? In this round of taxpayer funded subsidies The Michigan Strategic Fund has awarded the automaker another $4 million. In addition to this subsidy, Toyota received a State Education Tax Abatement with an estimated value of about $1.3 million.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/foreign/2014/12/18/toyota-invests-ann-arbor/20580241/

MEDC Approves Incentives for Toyota

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that Toyota has been awarded $4 million. York Township is additionally considering approval of local incentives in the form of a 12-year property tax abatement that could save the company up to $4.6 million.

The project was secured through a collaborative effort involving MEDC, York Township and Snyder’s Ann Arbor SPARK.

http://www.economicdevelopmenthq.com/blog/michigan-economic-development-incentives-toyota-jobs/

One of Ann Arbor SPARK board of directors are: Charles Gulash, vice president, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing. Can you say conflict of interest?

http://www.annarborusa.org/about-us/news/SPARK-announces-new-board

This isn’t the first incentive dance Toyota has been to. In 2008 as a Campaign Manager for a State Rep. candidate I attended a meeting with him in York Township and he spoke at that meeting against the first subsidy. The promise then was 400 jobs that never materialized!

Toyota said it plans to build a new facility on its Michigan campus “subject” to final approval of state and local “incentives” to accommodate the 250 workers. That subject to “local incentives” is code word for us the Michigan taxpayers who will pony up through the “failed” MEDC just mark my words!

http://www.freep.com/article/20140428/BUSINESS01/304280056/toyota-moving-texas-los-angeles

Toyota moves bolster Michigan Tech Center with Taxpayer money

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140428/AUTO0104/304280038/0/auto01/Toyota-shift-North-American-HQ-Texas-add-jobs-Michigan

Toyota moves thousands of jobs from socialist California to capitalist Texas

Why not the “Comeback State” Michigan? I’ll tell you why it’s no different than California! Michigan will get 250 jobs in Snyder’s Ann Arbor if the taxpayer subsidies are sufficient which they already received in 2008.

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/toyota-moves-thousands-of-jobs-from-socialist-california-to-capitalist-texas/

Toyota & 5,000 Jobs to Leave California for Texas

http://thepeoplesrepublicofcalifornia.blogspot.com/2014/04/toyota-5000-jobs-to-leave-california.html

Take a look at the incentives Toyota received from different state and local offices to locate their plant in certain locations. From Wikipedia: Toyota has received a little over a billion USD in federal, state, and local government tax subsidies and incentives including: * $323.9 million in subsidies for the plant in Tupelo from Mississippi taxpayers. * $371 million in subsidies for the Georgetown plant from Kentucky taxpayers. * $227.5 million in subsidies and tax incentives for the Tundra plant by Local, Texas, and U.S. taxpayers.

Michigan has the most megadeals, with 29, followed by New York with 23; Ohio and Texas with a dozen each; Louisiana and Tennessee with 11 each; and Alabama, Kentucky and New Jersey with 10 each.

“Megadeals” are defined as taxpayer funded incentive packages (subsidies) worth more than $75 Million. This does not include those subsidy giveaways under the $75 Million benchmark such as the Film and Movie Producer subsidies given away here in Michigan or smaller business subsidies.

In dollar terms, New York is spending the most, with megadeals totaling $11.4 billion. Next is Michigan with $7.1 billion, followed by five states in the $3 billion range: Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Louisiana, and Texas. Twenty-one states have megadeals costing $1 billion or more.

Some of the deals involve little if any new-job creation; indeed, one in ten of the deals involve the mere relocation of an existing facility, often within the same state and sometimes within the same metropolitan area. Some of these retention deals were granted in so-called “job blackmail” episodes.

The La-Z-Boy Corporation in Monroe pulled one of these so-called “job blackmail” episodes when it threatened to move out of Monroe unless the taxpayers of Michigan provided subsidies for building their new headquarters, the MEDC caved and awarded then up to $12.7 Million in taxpayer money.

La-Z-Boy Awarded $3.7 Million “Plus” from The Michigan Strategic Fund

Furniture maker plans to build a new world headquarters in Monroe after state approval this week on a $3.7 million incentive package. This “taxpayer funded” package could be worth $12.7 million over nine years when the package’s grants and tax breaks are combined and that is contingent on La-Z-Boy adding 50 jobs.

Dan Swallow, director of economic and community development for Monroe, said the two grants and the tax abatement were paramount to keeping La-Z-Boy fully committing to staying in Monroe. The company had stated it would remain in Monroe if everything could be worked out, but if it couldn’t, it might be forced to go to another county or state.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2012/12/21/La-Z-Boy-a-big-step-closer-to-new-headquarters-Michigan-OKs-3-7M-aid-for-50M-project.html

Right after La-Z-Boy got our tax dollars the company reported third-quarter profits that soared. Michigan-based La-Z-Boy said Tuesday its operating income was up 37 percent in the fiscal 2013 third quarter, to $23.3 million, compared with $17 million in the same quarter of 2012. The company ended the quarter with $112 million in cash and equivalents.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/la-z-boy-reports-fiscal-2013-third-quarter-results-191882971.html

Are corporate subsidies worth the money? 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/are-corporate-subsidies-worth-the-money/

History of the MEDC: The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) was started by Republican Governor John Engler expanded by Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm and put on steroids by Governor Rick Snyder.

The Michigan Jobs Commission (MJC) By Joseph P. Overton and Aaron Steelman, published on April 1, 1996

https://www.mackinac.org/5327

Study: Michigan Economic Development Corporation Published on May 4, 2004 (Now Part of The Department of Labor and Economic Growth)

http://www.mackinac.org/6561

A Brief History of State Economic Development By Michael D. LaFaive, published on Oct. 6, 2005

http://www.mackinac.org/7375

THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCING ACT – Act 281 of 1986

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28iwwxm445lieanr555ydmnd2v%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-Act-281-of-1986

Governor John Engler appoints Board of Directors for the new Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The two most notable board members are Governor John Engler (general chair); Rick Snyder, Avalon Investments, Inc., Ann Arbor (chair)

http://www.michiganbusiness.org/press-releases/engler-appoints-board-for-new-michigan-economic-development-corporation/

Rick Snyder’s two Venture Capital Companies Avalon Inc. hit with liens for unpaid taxes

http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/rick-snyders-venture-capital-companies-hit-with-liens-for-unpaid-taxes/

John Engler assumes leadership as Business Roundtable Preesident. Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote crony public policy.

http://businessroundtable.org/engler

Economic Development Subsidies Report Megadeals: By Philip Mattera and Kasia Tarczynska with Greg LeRoy. “Megadeals” are defined as taxpayer funded incentive packages (subsidies) worth more than $75 Million. This does not include those subsidy giveaways under the $75 Million benchmark such as the Film and Movie Producer subsidies given away here in Michigan or smaller business subsidies.Economic Subsidies by State 1

Click “Full report” in the link below to view how over $7 Billion of your tax dollars has been wasted on subsidies here in Michigan since 1986.

http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/publications/megadeals-largest-economic-development-subsidy-packages-ever-awarded-state-and-local-go

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Is it time for Michigan’s Legislature to go Part-Time?

Full-Time Hypocrisy Just Say “YES” to a Part-Time Legislature

The taxpayers of Michigan would be better “served” with a part-time legislature and it would be more in line with the “Pure Michigan” theme. Michigan legislators worked (in session) only 81 days during 2012 and 100 days in 2011; pay them accordingly.A Part Time Legislature

The way it’s set up now only works for the legislators, the powerful “lobbyist” and “special interest” that contribute to their campaign coffers.  Essentially public policy is set by these groups over “We the People” who have elected them to represent and serve us. The public be damned.

The idea that they are working for us just does not cut it. The only thing they are working on is getting re-elected so that they don’t lose the gravy train they already enjoy along with their spot at the public “feeding” trough.

Many legislators constantly complain about people receiving welfare benefits without knowing their situations by claiming they are lazy and refuse to look for work. These legislators are in session for less than half of the 365 days a year, and yet receive all the benefits of a full-time worker.

They are nothing more than elected welfare recipients, getting all the benefits from the taxpayers in this state without having to show up for work.

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce advocates for some semblance of legislative reform, especially in light of the fact that far and away the majority of states across the nation accomplish their work on a part-time basis and have for years.

Since they were able to pass 282 bills (that the majority of us didn’t want) in three weeks of the lame-duck session, three to four weeks is all they need to work. Cut their pay 75% with no more free public-paid health care. Maybe then the citizens of Michigan will finally get their money’s worth.

Feel the pain – it’s time for the part-timers to become part-time. Our illustrious Legislature is overdue to become part-time. Since they act like part-timers and meet so infrequently, let’s make them what they are: part-time! While we’re at it, reduce that over inflated salary to part-time status as well. It’s time these politicians feel the same pain we do with reduced incomes, higher taxes and less benefits.

With big money including “corporations as people,” controlling the legislative process representing the people of your district is a dream.

The only communication I receive from my legislator is a reply from a staff person telling me why my representative disagrees with my position or suggestion, if I receive even that. I have been told by my representative that I just don’t understand how the legislative process works! Oh but I understand all to well.
http://www.freep.com/article/20130204/OPINION04/302040006/Letters-Michigan-legislators-work-only-80-days-pay-them-accordingly

Let’s take a look just some of the wasted time spent by our elected lawmakers in Lansing shall we.

Here in 2014 while our legislators were “in session” Senator Rick Jones (R) got into a facebook exchange with the president of the Michigan Open Carry organization over the Remington Gun manufacturer building a plant in Alabama bringing that state over 2,000 jobs.

Looks to me like our legislators have way to much time on their hands! If they have the time while “in session” to surf the Internet and get into debates we need a part-time legislature.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley Led State Officials in taking the Legislative Polar Plunge

Raising money for charity is an admirable cause but not on taxpayer time. If any Michigan worker were to do this as an employee at their work place do you really think their employer would go for it?A Legislative Polar Plunge

I don’t think so and they would be looking for a new job! Our elected officials are elected to serve all Michigan citizens and not just one special group.

This bipartisan group of legislators had a swimming pool brought in and filled with warm water to take this plunge in front of the Capitol building in Lansing. Some wore suits, some wore costumes such as superman and one was dressed as a German-Austrian with a stein full of beer. Keep in mind this was at 3:00 in the afternoon while “in session.” 
http://www.adn.com/2014/02/27/3349135/calley-others-take-plunge-for.html

Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Twp. in 2013 introduced a resolution for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” that was approved by his fellow legislators. Khan celebrated the passage by taking the podium Tuesday while wearing a black eye patch and saying, “It’s time, and now recognized, that the state of Michigan acknowledges this holiday and grants it the recognition it truly deserves.” Kahn pointed out that Michigan is the Great Lakes state and should support and promote “worthy maritime initiatives.”A Roger Kahn Pirate Patch

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, however, didn’t think very highly of the resolution. “I just want to thank the senator from the 32nd District for making the most compelling argument he could for a part-time legislature,” Whitmer said.
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/22518808/michigan-to-officially-recognize-talk-like-a-pirate-day

Is now the time for Michigan’s Legislature to go part-time?

You bet it is! I and many I have conversed with all agree that the less time our elected officials spend in Lansing the less damage they can do! More time spent with constituents in their districts and their concerns and the less time spent with “lobbyist” and “special interest” that “pay” for their agenda to be advanced on public policy the better.

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