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Wozniak votes to ‘Make it in Michigan’

LANSING, Mich. — The Legislature on Tuesday approved legislation that would help Michigan better compete for private industry investment and job creation, announced Sen. Doug Wozniak, who voted for the Make it in Michigan Plan.

“The Legislature was caught off guard when Ford announced it would not be doing its next significant expansion in Michigan,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “It became clear that we needed to act to make our state more competitive to retain and attract business investment and new jobs. But, this isn’t just about the automakers — the Make it in Michigan Plan will prepare us for a new wave of exciting possibilities across industries. And unlike business incentive plans of the past, this one holds incentive recipients accountable to the state and ensures tax dollars allotted for the growth of industries and creation of high paying jobs are well spent and produce the benefits to the people of Michigan that are promised.”

Senate Bill 769 would create the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (the Department). The SOAR program would receive funds through a legislative appropriation. Funds from SOAR would be transferred into the Critical Industry Program (CIP) or Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program (MSSRP).

House Bill 5603 would create the MSSRP to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for eligible applicants to conduct activities creating investment-ready sites.

SB 771 would create the CIP, which would provide funds for qualified investments to qualified businesses for deal-closing, gap financing, or other economic assistance that create new qualified jobs and/or make capital investments (not for administrative purposes).

The Department would be required to transmit reports, on the fund and programs, to each legislator, the governor, the clerk of the House, the secretary of the Senate, and the Senate and House fiscal agencies by March 15 of each year. If the report is not transmitted by March 15, no dollars from the unreported fund could be disbursed until the report has been transmitted.

SB 85 is a supplemental budget for 2022 and would designate $1 billion for the SOAR fund.

HB 5351, though not part of the Make it in Michigan package, also received the Legislature’s approval. It is designed to benefit Michigan small businesses by increasing the Personal Property Tax exemption from $80,000 to $180,000 to help counter losses incurred because of COVID-19. Wozniak said he supported the bill, as well as additional appropriations for local government units that would be impacted by the increased exemption.

The bills now head to the governor for consideration.

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