LANSING – House and Senate Democrats today announced a plan to boost Michigan’s emerging advanced battery sector, an industry that is putting thousands of Michiganders back to work. The Democrats’ plan would create new, targeted and transparent tax credits for businesses and individuals investing in the advanced battery sector – incentives that Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature announced they would not pursue in the future, putting jobs and the future of Michigan’s electric vehicle sector at risk.

Michigan’s advanced battery sector is a true success story of a local Michigan industry that’s creating jobs, and we must do everything we can to continue the momentum, said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer. The advanced battery sector is a sign of hope for our economy and our future. Coupled with our skilled workforce and esteemed higher education institutions, we send a clear message that Michigan remains committed to leading the world in the new energy economy.

Under the advanced battery proposal, Michigan would provide the following:

  • Tax credits for battery producers and manufacturers, including battery pack manufacturing, facilities construction, vehicle integration and others;

  • Substantial income tax credits for people who buy an electric vehicle made in Michigan;

  • Tax credits for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations;

  • A $50 million economic gardening grant for electric vehicle and battery businesses, to come from existing funds in the Michigan Economic Development Corp.; and

  • Reusing and revitalizing existing, unused incentives for projects like the shuttered Ford Assembly plant in Wixom that would support future business development and convert the area into a clean energy park.

To ensure accountability and protect taxpayers, the credits will be provided only to businesses that prove job creation and after thorough background checks have been conducted.

We see firsthand how advanced batteries have jumpstarted our local economy, created jobs and spurred innovation, said State Representative Barb Byrum.We cannot afford to let this vital industry stall by throwing away the welcome mat for new businesses looking to invest in Michigan. We must continue supporting Michigan’s advanced battery sector and the tens of thousands of good-paying jobs it has created across our state.

As of December 2009, Michigan’s battery incentives attracted more than $3 billion in new investments and created more than 6,600 new jobs. Michigan now leads the nation in advanced auto sector jobs, with 38,067 total workers in 97 facilities. In 2008, Michigan became the first state to approve state-level incentives to grow the advanced battery sector. The United States is on track to produce 40 percent of the world’s advanced batteries by 2015, with the majority coming from Michigan factories.—Auto-industry-home-to-151-000—green—job