A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

House Floor: Justin Amash
State Rep. Justin Amash, R-Kentwood

If a business is in need of a tax break, the quickest route may be the local politician.

State Rep. Justin Amash, R-Kentwood, recently called out his colleagues for submitting bills that created tax advantages for single businesses.

Amash called attention to Senate Bill 500, sponsored by State Sen. Tony Stamas, R-Midland. That bill was tailored to create a tax break for an electronics building in Gaylord. An expanded version was passed by the House and Senate.

Stamas didn't return an e-mail or messages left with his staff.

"Essentially, it's just cronyism," Amash said. "It's an abuse of legislative power. We are not supposed to be passing bills that help one person or one company at the expense of everyone else."

But it's not an uncommon occurrence, according to Michiganvotes.org.

For example, Rep. Bettie Scott, D-Detroit, introduced House Bill 6093, which would authorize a tax credit for a project. Many times in the bills, the project is not named, but the criteria is very specific. For instance, Scott's bill says the credit would work "for the construction of a new facility if the area in which the new facility is located is designated as a neighborhood enterprise zone by the governing body of the local governmental unit in September 2001 and if the building permit is issued for that new facility on March 3, 2003."

Working for tax breaks for individuals is a bipartisan effort, says one expert.

"Both parties have abandoned any pretense that the growing state corporate welfare empire doesn't include funneling favors to the owners of particular firms," said Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. 

Senate Bill 500 was approved on a vote of 36-1 in the Michigan Senate and 90-16 in the Michigan House. The Michiganvotes.org roll call vote for the bill is noted below.

Contact information for all lawmakers is available at www.MichCapCon.com/9313.

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Lawmakers voting IN FAVOR OF A SPECIAL TAX BREAK for a company in Gaylord:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS (28)

Ball

Booher

Calley

Caul

Crawford

Denby

DeShazor

Elsenheimer

Green

Haines

Hansen

Hildenbrand

Horn

Jones, Rick

Knollenberg

Kurtz

Lori

Marleau

Meltzer

Moore

Moss

Proos

Rocca

Rogers

Schmidt, W.

Stamas

Tyler

Walsh

   

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS (20)

Allen

Birkholz

Bishop

Brown

Cropsey

Garcia

George

Gilbert

Hardiman

Jansen

Jelinek

Kahn

Kuipers

McManus

Nofs

Pappageorge

Patterson

Richardville

Sanborn

Stamas

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATS (62)

Angerer

Barnett

Bauer

Bennett

Bledsoe

Brown, T.

Byrnes

Byrum

Clemente

Constan

Corriveau

Cushingberry

Dean

Dillon

Donigan

Durhal

Ebli

Geiss

Gonzales

Gregory

Griffin

Haase

Hammel

Haugh

Huckleberry

Jackson

Johnson

Jones, Robert

Kandrevas

Kennedy

Lahti

LeBlanc

Leland

Lemmons

Lindberg

Lipton

Liss

Mayes

McDowell

Meadows

Melton

Nathan

Nerat

Neumann

Polidori

Roberts

Schmidt, R.

Scott, B.

Scripps

Segal

Sheltrown

Slavens

Slezak

Smith

Spade

Stanley

Switalski

Tlaib

Valentine

Warren

Womack

Young

     

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS (16)

Anderson

Barcia

Basham

Brater

Cherry

Clark-Coleman

Clarke

Gleason

Hunter

Jacobs

Olshove

Prusi

Scott

Switalski

Thomas

Whitmer

       

 

Lawmakers voting AGAINST A SPECIAL TAX BREAK for a company in Gaylord:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS (14)

Agema

Amash

Bolger

Daley

Genetski

Haveman

Kowall

Lund

McMillin

Meekhof

Opsommer

Pavlov

Schuitmaker

Scott, P.

 

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS (ONE)

Cassis

 

HOUSE DEMOCRATS (2)

Brown, L.

Miller

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS (NONE)

Lawmakers who DID NOT VOTE:

Sen. Van Woerkom (R)

Rep. Espinoza (D)

Rep. Pearce (R)

~~~~~

See also:

MichCapCon Profile: The 3rd Congressional District Primary 

Bouchard 'Would Not Hesitate' to End State's Economic Central Planning Agency

Embattled Agency in Charge of Special Tax Favors Snaps at Critics

Critics Shoot at Special Tax Deal for Super Speedway

State Taxpayers Eat $350K Loan for East Lansing Property Purchase

Google Jobs Lacking, Yet Some Locals Still Consider It a 'Badge of Honor' for Ann Arbor

No Audits for Ten Years on Companies Getting Special Tax Breaks from State

Lawmaker Says $150 Million in Unearned Tax Credits Given Out by State

State Websites Give History a Rewrite

SMALL BUSINESSES VOTE DOWN "GIVE AWAY" PROGRAMS

Michigan #1 for Economic Development?

THE MOST DANGEROUS VOICE IN THE HOUSE?

MEDC needs accountability, transparency - Livingston Daily Editorial

MEDC outdoes fiasco - Traverse City Record-Eagle

Ann Arbor.com video: Gov. Granholm defends MEDC tax credits

MEDC: 'Stop Pointing Out Our Failures'

 

 

 

Meet James Hohman, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy at the Mackinac Center. James discusses his latest project, an analysis of Proposal 1, the proposal on personal property tax reform that will appear on the August 5th ballot. Read more about Proposal 1 here: http://www.mackinac.org/20246


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