Could So-Called Economic Incentive “Transparency” Bills Have Unintended Consequences?

February 10, 2020

Legislation was introduced last week that is said to provide the public more information about economic incentive awards, but the Michigan Chamber fears they could have unintended consequences. 

The Michigan Chamber is the first to take a hard look at any economic incentive program. While we realize our state must compete for jobs and investment on a global scale, any economic incentive program must be thoroughly vetted. Decisionmakers should make smart choices on the tools they fill their economic development tool chest with. The idea of simply eliminating any and all economic incentive programs could do more harm than good. 

The five-bill, bi-cameral package of legislation is being touted as a mere attempt to bring more transparency to economic incentive applications and awards made in Michigan. While the Chamber trusts that the sponsors and proponents of these bills have good intentions, we fear the bills could be a backdoor way to intimidate companies out of ever utilizing the economic incentive programs the Legislature created. 

The bills in the Senate are SBs 767-771 and the bills in the House are HBs 5458-5462.

For more information on this package of legislation, please contact Dan Papineau at dpapineau@michamber.com.