General Motors (GM) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will announce $6.5 billion in economic development projects in Lansing at 11 a.m. Tuesday, a GM spokesman confirmed to The Center Square. It’s unclear how much the deal will cost taxpayers.
The Detroit News first reported the event, adding that the $6.5 billion deal for two Michigan sites is estimated to create 4,000 jobs statewide.
The announcement precedes Whitmer’s 2022 virtual State of the State Address on Wednesday, which falls in a pivotal time as challengers gear up to face off against the first-term Democrat.
After Michigan lost out on an $11.4 billion investment creating electric vehicles (EV) and 11,000 jobs, Whitmer and the GOP-dominated legislature enacted economic development bills aiming to lure companies to the state using taxpayer money so the Wolverine State will remain a heavyweight in the future of transportation.
On Tuesday, the Michigan Strategic Fund’s board meeting agenda says the GM project seeks a Strategic Site Readiness Program grant and a Critical Industry Program grant – the same project lawmakers approved above.
The Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Fund provides grants, loans, and other economic assistance to aid in the creation of investment-ready sites. The Critical Industry Fund offers deal-closing, gap financing, or other economic assistance to qualified businesses creating jobs or making capital investments.
Separately, Orion Township gave GM a tax break on a $1.3 billion project.
So far, most Michiganders drive gas vehicles. The Secretary of State’s office counts 5.8 million gas vehicles, 13,545 EVs, and 105,651 hybrid vehicles registered statewide.
James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, says that taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize major auto companies.
“Instead of making deals to give GM taxpayer cash and other favors, how about making deals with Ohio and Indiana to agree to stop giving major companies major cash,” he tweeted.
GM spokesman Daniel Flores welcomed the tax reduction.
“GM sincerely appreciates the support the Orion Township Board of Trustees showed by approving our tax abatement application this evening,” GM said in a statement. “Securing all available tax incentives plays a critical role in any business case moving forward. Approving our tax incentive application is certainly a positive step forward, however, the proposed project is not approved. I’m not going to speculate on GM leadership making a final determination on the business case under development.”
This article was originally posted on Gov. Whitmer, GM to unveil $6.5B project Tuesday