Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winners and Losers

Winners and losers! Winners and losers! OMG, the state government is picking winners and losers again! What about that free market? What about those Mackinac Center studies? Was all that angst for nothing? Was the entire Snyder campaign just a lie? And the budget! Remember the budget spin?

Most are aware now that Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget aims to eliminate the state’s history of picking “winners and losers” by awarding special tax credits to a select number of individuals and businesses.

But... but... but... the state is still picking winners and losers! There are people winning, and there are people losing! To this day! Oh the humanity! Won't someone think of the death of those Republican talking points? Those cost money you know! And now they are the losers!

Zeeland-based Gentex Corp. won state tax credits Tuesday morning to aid in an expansion project that includes plans for up to 1,110 new West Michigan jobs over the next five years.


MEDCThe Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit approved Tuesday could be worth up to $2.4 million. The state also expects Zeeland and Holland Township to approve an estimated $7.2 million in tax abatements in support of the project.

Though MEGA credits are approved in advance, companies only receive them when jobs are actually created. Figuring in the value of the tax credits, the state expects it will take in an extra $48.8 million due to the expansion projects, according to the state memo.

Wait, what? They only get the credits based on jobs created? Get out! Amazing that someone didn't point that out before! And the state expects to make a lot of money on the deal? Seriously?


The prosecution rests.

For the year to date, the MEGA board has approved agreements to assist the expansion of 47 companies that are projected to invest approximately $1.16 billion and create or retain approximately 12,968 direct jobs. It has also approved 15 brownfield redevelopment projects with projected new investment of more than $734.6 million.

Wow, still bragging the numbers, too. Even though the Snyder administration made a big honking deal about not picking "winners and losers", as predicted in May, they still are out there doing it - and good for them. And us.

For the record, I've always been in favor of targeted tax/job creation incentives, as anyone who has followed me lo these many years knows. In a perfect world we wouldn't have to do this, but until everyone else disarms, we can't either. I would like to see them targeted more towards continuing to diversify the economy so we aren't so auto-centric, but it's up to the Snyder administration and the people he placed at MEDC to pick the winners and losers here.

I'm just going to rub the hypocrisy in their face a bit. Indulge me.