October 31, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report

Tea Party? Occupy Wall Street? Corporate Welfare

While the Legislature is on a campaign season break from voting, the Roll Call Report continues a series reviewing key votes of the 2013-2014 session. This edition focuses on what are called "economic development" bills.

House Bill 4782, Expand a corporate/developer subsidy regime: Passed 87 to 23 in the House on November 14, 2013

To authorize creation of a sixth “Next Michigan Development Corporation,” which is a government agency that gives tax breaks and subsidies to particular corporations or developers selected by political appointees on the entity's board, for projects meeting extremely broad "multi-modal commerce" criteria (basically, any form of goods-related commerce). The new entity would be in the Upper Peninsula.

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4783, Expand a corporate/developer subsidy regime again: Passed 83 to 27 in the House on September 9, 2014

To authorize creation of a seventh “Next Michigan Development Corporation” as described in the previous vote, except this one would probably be in Detroit. The Senate has not yet taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 536, Expand real estate development tax breaks: Passed 70 to 39 in the House on June 10, 2014

To authorize property tax exemptions for property owned by a nonprofit organization whose purpose is real estate development, if the local government agrees, and if the organization is approved by the political appointees on the board of the state agency responsible for granting and overseeing selective tax breaks and subsidies to particular corporations and developers.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 146, Extend enterprise zone tax breaks to a particular developer: Passed 93 to 17 in the House on February 4, 2014

To revise a law that authorizes tax breaks for developers whose projects are in an area deemed a “neighborhood enterprise zone,” in a way that would allow the tax break for a particular developer's project, notwithstanding this developer's failure to request the tax break before getting a building permit, which the current law requires. Several such bills come before the legislature each year and are usually passed.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 308, Authorize tax breaks to a Charlotte business: Passed 95 to 14 in the House on December 12, 2013

To revise the criteria in the law that authorizes tax breaks for the rehabilitation and reuse of "obsolete structures" in a way that will allow granting these tax breaks to a particular business in Charlotte. The bill was amended to do the same for another developer in Wayne County.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4998, Appoint “entrepreneurs-in-residence” at Michigan Strategic Fund: Passed 85 to 24 in the House on June 3, 2014

To require the state agency responsible for granting and overseeing selective tax breaks and subsidies granted to particular corporations or developers to appoint up to 10 “entrepreneurs-in-residence” to help it “improve outreach to small business concerns;” identify inefficient or duplicative programs; recommend ways to expand and improve the these programs; and more. The bill has not been taken up by the Senate.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 257, Expand “Business Improvement Zone” borrow-and-spend entities: Passed 77 to 31 in the House on September 12, 2013

To expand the items that a “Business Improvement Zone” can spend money on, revise voting rules in a way that (potentially) reduces the proportion of property owners needed to impose a zone's tax-and-spending powers, increase the proportion of owners needed to dissolve one, reduce notice and public meeting requirements required to establish one, increase penalties for not paying the "special assessments" these entities impose, and more. These zones have the power to impose levies to pay for the debt they incur to pay for projects that are supposed to benefit the property owners.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4487, Authorize DDA debt and spending to promote local agriculture: Passed 81 to 27 in the House on February 18, 2014

To empower Downtown Development Authorities to borrow and spend the loan proceeds on “marketing initiatives," "infrastructure improvements" and more that "promote local agriculture products and farmers markets." The debt incurred by these "tax increment financing" schemes is repaid by "capturing" from other local taxing units the increased property tax revenue that the DDA's subsidies and spending are presumed to generate. The Senate has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 218, Expand borrow-and-spend "water resource improvement authorities": Passed 92 to 16 in the House on April 18, 2013

To eliminate the sunset on local governments creating new “water resource improvement authorities," which use extra property tax levies and “tax increment financing” schemes to divert tax revenue to pay the debt they incur for various recreation and development projects. The bill would also expand the scope and geographic limits of these entities' spending.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4327, Allow reset of "tax increment finance" schemes: Passed 86 to 21 in the House on October 23, 2013.

To allow "corridor improvement authorities" to "reset" their tax increment financing schemes (TIF) to reflect declining property assessments, which undermine their ability to divert property tax revenue from local governments and other taxing units to pay for the authority’s debt-funded spending projects and subsidies.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4782, Expand a corporate/developer subsidy regime: Passed 31 to 6 in the Senate on December 11, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder last December.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 536, Expand real estate development tax breaks: Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on December 11, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law on June 24.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 146, Extend enterprise zone tax breaks to a particular development: Passed 32 to 4 in the Senate on October 24, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law in February.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 308, Authorize tax breaks to a Charlotte business: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate on May 20, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law last December.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 257, Expand “Business Improvement Zone” tax-and-spend entities: Passed 35 to 2 in the Senate on April 11, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law last October.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 218, Expand borrow-and-spend "water resource improvement authorities": Passed 32 to 5 in the Senate on March 14, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law in May 2013.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4327, Allow reset of "tax increment finance" schemes: Passed 33 to 5 in the Senate on December 12, 2013

The Senate vote on the bill described above. This was signed into law last December.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 272, Authorize corporate and developer “port facility” subsidies: Passed 37 to 1 in the Senate on June 13, 2013.

To expand the mission of the Michigan Strategic Fund to include providing undefined subsidies for corporations, developers and other entities involved in port facilities. The House has not taken up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 269, Make permanent $75 million in annual corporate subsidy spending: Passed 33 to 4 in the Senate on October 31, 2013

To extend through 2019 an annual $75 million earmark to a "21st Century Jobs Fund" program created by the previous administration, which provides various subsidies to particular firms or industries chosen by a board of political appointees. Under current law, the annual earmark expires in 2015. The House has yet to take up this bill.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.


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