Lawmakers need to hear from you on economic development

At one time, the idea of handing out tax breaks and other financial incentives to get companies to invest in your state had bipartisan, nearly unanimous support.

Now, some on both the left and the right have started to question such moves as corporate handouts.

Lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer need to hear from you about whether investing in companies so they’ll invest in Michigan is the right way to go.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Democrats who now control the Legislature have committed $2.6 billion this year to private companies to encourage their investment and job creation in the state.

Whitmer’s office told the Free Press that the Strategic Outreach, Attraction and Reserve (SOAR) Fund that the state uses to invest in companies has led to the creation of 16,500 jobs in the state and $17 billion in new investment.

Critics say taxpayers could get more bang for their buck by investing in improving the overall economic picture — such as by putting money toward schools, public transit, and infrastructure — than by investing in individual companies for one-off projects.

While lawmakers debate the future of the SOAR Fund and listen to large corporations, economists, and others, they need to hear from you, too, about whether you want your tax money going to individual companies.

Reach out to your step rep, state senator, and Whitmer’s office to let them know how you feel.


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