LANSING — The Michigan House of Representatives narrowly passed Senate Bill 455 in a vote of 55-53 to extend tax breaks for the Switch Data Center in Gaines Township, by exempting it from local property taxes that would benefit local school districts. In response, state Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) issued the following statement:

“Not all business incentives are bad, but Michigan is set to face a budget deficit next year. For every business incentive that gets brought forward, the Legislature needs to weigh the economic costs and benefits to taxpayers. Our general fund has been stagnant for the past 22 years. Individuals and small, local businesses have been asked to pay more while corporations keep finding ways to pay less. Avoiding ‘group think’ is necessary if we want to truly grow our economy. Asking the tough questions is key. The business incentives that will truly grow our Michigan economy come with concrete living-wage job numbers and measurable returns on taxpayer investments. This legislation before us today gave no clear job numbers, no concrete evidence that those jobs are living-wage jobs and no clear total cost to the taxpayers. Therefore, I was a no vote.”