House Passes Mayes' Plan to Create Jobs, Attract Businesses
Lawmaker Aims To Reform 'Anchor Zones,' Diversify Michigan's Economy
May 7, 2009
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By: MyBayCity Staff
In a move that will make Michigan a more attractive destination for emerging industries, the Michigan House has passed a plan proposed by State Representative Jeff Mayes (D-Bay City) that will strengthen "anchor zones" in the state in an effort to target large, high-tech employers.
"'Anchor zones' have shown great promise in bringing high-tech industries to Michigan," said Mayes, the Chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee. "We need to capitalize on their opportunity and make Michigan a magnet for emerging industries like alternative energy and advanced manufacturing. By strengthening these zones, we can create a stronger business climate in Michigan and create more jobs for our workers."
Mayes' plan, which passed the House 104-5, will strengthen "anchor zones" by clarifying rules relating to the tax credits companies within the zone receive. Under current law, the tax credit provided to businesses is smaller than originally intended. The plan also makes several technical changes to the law, in order to clarify the benefits companies receive. The legislation will help companies like Hemlock Semiconductor take advantage of these tax benefits to grow their businesses in Michigan.
"Anchor zones" are an economic development tool unique to Michigan. Last year, the Governor signed into law a plan to create five "anchor zones" within a 10-mile radius of "anchor companies" - certain high-tech businesses that draw other job-creating businesses to an area. Companies, such as suppliers, that locate within the "anchor zones" would qualify for tax credits under the Michigan Business Tax.
"Nobody else is doing what Michigan is doing with these zones," Mayes said. "We're ahead of the game, and we need to keep it that way if we want to attract more jobs to our state. I'm very pleased that this legislation received bipartisan support, and I hope the Senate moves quickly to get this bill to the governor."
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