The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state's lead business incentive program, is primed for new amendments to raise the cap on the number of credits it can award this year. While there are some good transparency efforts in the bill, the state would be better served by eliminating the program and lowering taxes for every business.
The bill will give the MEDC more credits to award for the rest of the year, but it requires the organization to publish the actual credit amounts awarded to companies instead of the estimated value alone.
The transparency piece of the bills simply requires the MEDC to publish some information it had only recently stopped providing. Actual jobs claimed by companies and credits awarded on a year-by-year and project by project basis was discontinued in April 2008. The most recent copy is available on our web site. This information was once provided without state law necessitating it. The MEDC used to provide a lot more information on the program, too, without being legally required to do so.
Considering that the credits only cover .45 percent of Michigan's employment and only .25 percent of Michigan's job creation, and that MEGA is associated with a general loss of jobs, this program is, at best, a distraction from fixing the problems Michigan businesses face. The latest expansion of the program will be ineffective at strengthening Michigan's weak economy.