News Story

Michigan House committee approves $120M more for Ford Marshall site

Taxpayer tab for Ford’s Blue Oval Battery Park is north of $1.5 billion

The Michigan House Appropriations Committee approved Tuesday a $120.3 million legislative transfer toward preparations for Ford Motor Company’s upcoming plant in Marshall, BlueOval Battery Park.

A local group, the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance, will be granted the funds if the Senate Appropriations Committee grants its approval.

The request for Legislative Transfer 2023-4 explains how the funds would be used:

This state investment would support land acquisition, site preparation, water and wastewater upgrades, and other necessary public infrastructure improvements at the strategic Marshall mega-site, where the Ford Motor Company’s new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility, BlueOval Battery Park, is proposed to be located.

As The Detroit News reports, “Ford's total incentives for the $3.5 billion project amount to about $1.6 billion in state and local taxpayer aid once local and state tax incentives are taken into consideration.”

Because the funds were already appropriated to the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program, a corporate welfare effort meant to prepare sites, only a legislative transfer was required, not a vote of the full legislature. 

For legislative transfers, approval comes from the House and Senate appropriations committees, not the full House and Senate. This means that only about one-third of lawmakers have a say in the matter.

Legislative Transfer 2023-4 passed the House committee in an 18-11 vote Tuesday. The roll call vote is pictured below:

The Senate Appropriations Committee needs to approve the transfer for it to take effect. The committee will meet Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

That meeting has no official agenda, but Legislative Transfer 2023-4 and three others await approval. 

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $9.2 billion in loans to Ford for three upcoming electric vehicle battery facilities, two in Kentucky and one in Tenneseee. Despite that, Ford is still shedding jobs. Reports say 1,000 layoffs are coming.

Last year, Michigan lawmakers approved $100 million for Ford to hire 3,030 factory workers. Two months later, Ford laid off 3,000 white-collar and contract workers.

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.