News Story

State Senator Tries to Fine-Tune Corporate Welfare

Nate Shannon has approved more than $1 billion in subsidies, but now aims to punish ‘greedy corporations’

Often, politicians will say one thing in press releases and then vote against their stated declarations.

The most recent example is State Rep. Nate Shannon, D-Sterling Heights, who introduced a bill that would prohibit corporations from excluding certain expenses from their state income tax obligations if they moved jobs out of the state. Shannon said his bill would keep greedy corporations in check and make sure those corporations pay their fair share in taxes.

“When corporations pay less in taxes while also shipping jobs overseas, the burden falls on the rest of us. My bill turns this lose-lose situation into a win-win,” Shannon said in a May 11 press release. “This legislation keeps greedy corporations in check, making them pay their fair share in taxes while also keeping Michigan jobs right here at home, where they belong.”

That sounds like Shannon, who took office in 2019, doesn’t support giving companies tax subsidies and would vote to make sure they pay what he calls their “fair share” of taxes.

But according to a scorecord published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, Shannon voted in favor of business subsidies 100% of the time from 2019-2021. In four votes, he approved $1.033 billion in business subsidies through 2021.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state agency in charge of corporate subsidies, announced April 26 that it was subsidizing a private project in Warren that could create 600 jobs. Shannon put out a press release the next day, celebrating the deal.

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.