Mackinac Center Analyst: Senate Bills 111-115 Are Corporate Cronyism

LaFaive available to comment on pending legislation

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

Contact:
Chantal Lovell
Media Relations Manager
989-698-1914

MIDLAND — A Michigan Senate committee is scheduled to discuss corporate welfare bills this afternoon that one fiscal policy expert says would be a bad deal for taxpayers if approved.

The Senate’s Economic Development and International Investment committee is scheduled to discuss a package of bills that could gift up to $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars over 20 years to a select few developers, according to the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency. Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, is available to discuss why these bills would do little to stimulate economic development.

According to LaFaive:

This legislation, if adopted, will permit a lucky handful of well-connected developers to build grand facades at taxpayer expense. They get the profits and applause and everyone else gets the bill. It has been done before and on smaller and larger scales and with little or nothing to show for it.

He cited a 2015 study out of Ball State University found that Tax Increment Financing districts in Indiana were, “associated with less employment, less taxable income and slightly higher tax rates.” The senate bills taken up today would amount to a “TIF-like arrangement, but on steroids,” LaFaive said. He added:

The evidence is clear, corporate welfare programs only “work” for the lucky few. If you’ve got pull with Lansing’s political class you can get millions of dollars in advantages showered upon you, and at the expense of everyone else.

LaFaive is available for further comment on the bill package. To set up an interview with him, please contact:

Chantal Lovell
Media Relations Manager
989-698-1914

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