LANSING — State Representatives Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights), along with Sen. Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), have introduced a plan that would end tax breaks for corporations that send work out of state and reimburse Michigan taxpayers for tax abatements the company had received. In the past, several companies have received corporate tax breaks in Michigan, only to turn around and send the jobs overseas or out of state.
“If a company decides to turn its back on Michigan workers by shipping their jobs overseas, it should never be able to get a going-away present from Michigan taxpayers in the form of millions of dollars in tax breaks.” Rep. Yanez said. “That’s insulting to Michigan families and hardworking people just trying to get by, and it must be stopped.”
“We have a responsibility to protect taxpayer dollars and Michigan jobs,” Rep. Ananich said. “This is common sense legislation that will do both.”
There have been several instances of large, profitable corporations benefitting from tax breaks and then moving jobs out of state or overseas. For instance, in February, Grand Rapids manufacturer Dematic North America said it would close its plant there, laying off 300 people and sending the work to Mexico. The company had received a $3.2 million tax break from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Appliance manufacturer Electrolux stands out as one of the most notable examples of companies taking tax breaks and then sending jobs overseas: in 2003, it was granted a $120 million tax break from the MEDC, only to turn around and close its 2,700-worker plant in Greenville three years later.
“Economic incentives are worth talking about if they bring jobs to our state and improve the standard of living for working families,” Rep. Hoadley said. “When they are used by wealthy corporations and billionaire CEOs to finance a plant closing or moving a call center out of state, that’s not acceptable. When Michigan taxpayer dollars are involved, there must be accountability.”