Schmidt: Senate-approved bills would create performance-based job creation incentive

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to help create and expand business investment in the state that results in more available high-wage jobs was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bills 1153-1155 would create a transparent and capped incentive program aimed at attracting projects that would provide a significant number of high-wage jobs.

“At a time when our economy is on the rebound, we must continue efforts that encourage increased job growth and expansion,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who sponsored SB 1154. “This legislation not only does that, but it offers incentives for job providers to create good, high paying jobs to retain and attract the best and brightest workers.”

Under the legislation, business expansions or new locations creating at least 500 qualified new jobs — that pay the county average wage or higher — would be eligible for a five-year, 50 percent abatement on the personal income tax withholdings of the new employees. Companies creating at least 250 qualified new jobs — paying wages at 125 percent or more of the county average wage — would be eligible to receive up to a 10-year, 100 percent abatement.

The incentive program would be limited to five new projects per year — with a maximum value for all outstanding projects at any time capped at $250 million.

Schmidt said that the legislation ensures transparency and accountability, as the program’s details would be made public and tax abatements would not be awarded unless jobs are created.

“This is a tax incentive that works for job providers and for taxpayers,” Schmidt said. “It would help create jobs and make our state more attractive compared to our neighbors.”

The bills now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.