MEGA Deserves No Credit for Good Economy

Click for audio MEGA Deserves No Credit for Good Economy

Michigan business owners have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the past several years, thanks in part to lower overall taxes and less government regulation. Some politicians, however, believe that a controversial government jobs program called MEGA deserves some credit for Michigan's prosperity.

MEGA stands for Michigan Economic Growth Authority, a four-year-old program that hands out tax credits and other incentives to a few select companies in exchange for their promises to move jobs to Michigan.

Does MEGA work? Research shows that it has virtually zero impact on the overwhelming majority of jobs created. In the past two years, job providers built or expanded over 3,000 facilities in Michigan. Only 29 of these job providers—less than one percent—said that MEGA tax credits influenced their decision to create jobs in Michigan.

When MEGA does have an impact on job creation, it's often only to encourage employers to shift jobs to counties where jobs are already plentiful and workers are harder to find.

More tax cuts across-the-board, not government jobs programs, are what attract more and better jobs to Michigan. The legislature should abolish the ineffective and unnecessary MEGA program.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.