Thursday, October 8, 2009

Questions #2 and #3 for the Next Governor

Question #2: Should subsidies be given to businesses or industries if there is already that type of business represented in Michigan:

Mike Cox says-

"In a perfect world, the best tax credit is low tax rates for all businesses and residents. That's why I am the only candidate who has presented a specific plan to cut taxes $2 billion, cut spending, and reform the regulatory process to bring jobs back to Michigan. I have proposed a specific tax cut to cut the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) by 50% and eventually eliminate it and roll back the Granholm-Cherry tax hikes from 2007.

That being said, Michigan cannot unilaterally disarm. It is an ultra-competitive environment to bring jobs to a state and with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, Michigan has to compete. In the past, tax credits have not been benchmarked properly and there needs to be real oversight to how these tax credits are issued. Lowering the overall business and personal income tax rate is the best answer, but tax credits should continue on a limited case-by-case basis."

Senator Tom George, MD says-

"Tax incentives are one of the tools the state needs to lure new jobs in order to fix Michigan. This tool should be reserved for nascent, migratory industries that would otherwise locate elsewhere. I believe that under the current governor this tool has been misused."

Rick Snyder says-

"Fixing the economy in Michigan is my number one priority. In order to successfully create jobs and improve economic development it is imperative that a fair and competitive tax structure is implemented. We need to create real incentives for businesses to bring their establishments to Michigan, hire Michigan employees, and engage in the Michigan economy. Raising taxes to provide subsidies is not the answer.

Attracting new businesses is only one part of the equation. We must also create an environment where existing businesses can grow and prosper."

Mike Bouchard says-

"We need to create an atmosphere where all businesses in Michigan can grow and flourish--not just new businesses or those given incentives. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers."

Question #3: What is your opinion of subsidies, tax breaks, MEDC in general?

Senator Tom George, MD says-

"MEGA credits and other incentives can be useful when in competition with other states. However, under the current governor, this tool has been misused.

I have voted in the senate to provide more accountability and transparency to the MEGA tax credit program operated by the MEDC. I have also sponsored legislation to cap the film tax credit program. As Governor, I would advocate for and sign such legislation.

The tax credit tool should not be discarded, but should be honed and refined for limited use."

Rick Snyder says-

"The MEDC has been poorly managed and become too political. When I was the Chair of the MEDC under Governor Engler, we were recognized as the second most business friendly state in the nation by Site Selection magazine. Rather than picking winners and losers, we need to level the playing field by bringing out of control incentives back down to earth and getting rid of the gross receipts tax and surcharges so we can eliminate the MBT. Businesses are looking for a fair, simple and consistent tax structure."

Mike Bouchard says-

"It is time for Lansing to break out of the status quo thinking that got us here. Our leaders must focus on what is sustainable and what will help Michigan flourish."

Mike Cox says-

"Michigan's priority should be creating environment where credits aren't necessary to lure businesses across our border. That's why I've proposed cutting the Michigan Business Tax, or the 'job killing' tax in half as one of my first acts as Governor. That will bring Michigan's business tax structure from the 3rd worse in the country, to the 7th best and will send the message that Michigan is open for business, and more importantly, open to those who will bring jobs here.

I don't agree with everything that the MEDC has done. It has been mismanaged and has lacked consistent priorities and focus. One of the first actions I will do as Governor will be to bring the MEDC Director into the Governor's office to show the rest of the nation that we will be more hands-on in creating the environment to bring jobs to Michigan. The MEDC over the past six years has had shifting priorities--ranging from life sciences to advanced manufacturing to homeland security, to alternative energy, to battery and hydrogen fuel cells. The constant change has undermined the state's efforts and produced an environment in which job creators aren't sure if theirs will be the "pet-project du jour' for Jennifer Granholm and John Cherry.

However, as I have said before, Michigan cannot unilaterally disarm against other states and countries that are competing for a piece of the development pie. The purpose of the MEDC is to put a emphasis o developing the economy, keeping jobs in Michigan and bring jobs and job providers to Michigan. I won't disband the MEDC, I will properly manage it and provide the business sense and leadership that has been lacking. That starts with moving the office of the Director of the MEDC right next to my office. It worked with Mitch Daniels in Indiana, it can work for Michigan."

See you tomorrow-
God bless..........

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