News Story

Michigan leaders seek $750M for Ford site in Marshall

‘Not a cent’ of site-readiness funds will go to Ford directly, officials say; but the plan could bring the automaker nearly $1 billion in direct incentives and tax abatements

Michigan economic development officials are prepared to ask the Legislature for $750 million just to prepare a site in Marshall for a possible Ford battery plant, according to reports out of Lansing.

Per Dave Eggert at Crain’s Business Detroit, the breakdown of the request is as follows:

  • $330M to improve roads at the site
  • $225M to make the site “pad ready”
  • $100M for water
  • $75M for land acquisition
  • $15M for rail improvements, to be paid to Norfolk Southern, operator of the trains that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio while carrying hazardous materials.

The Marshall factory, officials say, will employ 2,500 people, making anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour.

Last year the state gave Ford Motor Co. $100 million to create 3,030 factory jobs making electric vehicles. Two months later, Ford laid off 3,000 white-collar workers, mostly in Michigan.

When economic development officials met Wednesday with the Michigan media, they made it clear the $750 million would be used to ready the project, not given to Ford directly. As The Detroit News reported:

Economic leaders Wednesday were quick to stress that "not a cent" of the $750 million for strategic site readiness would go toward Ford itself, and instead parsed the spending as an investment in land acquisition and water, utility, road and rail improvements needed to land any company's investment.

While none of the $750 million would go to Ford, The News reports that Ford is in line for $210 million in incentives and another $772 million in tax abatements. That’s nearly $1 billion that will either come out of taxpayer funds or never reach state coffers.

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.