Bill Would Ease Process for Companies in Michigan Border Towns to Receive Incentives
Monday, February 13, 2017
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
KALAMAZOO — Legislation that passed the state Senate last Thursday seeks to level the playing field for economic development organizations trying to attract companies to Michigan’s border communities.
Current rules set thresholds for new job creation for a company to receive incentives through the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Business Development Program. To be counted as a “qualified new job” under the program, an employee needs to be a resident of Michigan.
That requirement puts communities along Michigan’s southern border at a disadvantage when they try to help attract new companies, according to Derek Nofz, the director of public policy at Kalamazoo-based Southwest Michigan First, a regional economic development organization.
“Some of our projects don’t qualify because people come in from Indiana,” Nofz said. “There’s been probably a couple projects a year over the last three years that were affected by this. Each was a fairly good sized project. We’re not talking 10 or 15 jobs; these are 100-200 jobs.”
Senate Bill 40, introduced by state Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, would change the definition of a “qualified new job” to cover nonresidents for companies located in a Michigan border county.
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