News Bite

Granholm Tax Break Scheme Appears To Be Just A Shiny Object In The Bigger Picture

A facility in downtown Jackson named Lean Rocket Lab is described by the state as a “high-tech manufacturing space” for businesses. It benefits from the state of Michigan’s SmartZones program, which was approved in 2004 by the Legislature and Gov. Jennifer Granholm to grant property tax exemptions to so-called technology parks.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state agency in charge of granting selective business subsidies, gave Lean Rocket Lab a $50,000 grant in 2021. In addition, the U.S. Department of Treasury gave it a $569,300 federal grant in 2021 from its Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

According to Lean Rocket Lab’s annual reports, it created 16-plus jobs in 2019 and 37-plus jobs in 2020. There were 68,732 Jackson County residents employed in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a typical year, the state’s economy creates around 800,000 new jobs and loses about the same number. The numbers are a little better in good times and potentially much worse during recessions.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.