Legislation watch
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Capitol Building

2011 Senate Bill 855: Give particular firm $50 million state electric car subsidy

Public Act 292 of 2011

  1. Introduced by Sen. Mike Kowall (R) on November 29, 2011, to authorize giving a $50 million state subsidy to a firm called “Townsend Ventures,” which says it wants to use the former Ford Motors Wixom plant to make systems related to electric car batteries. If enacted, this would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through (see 2009 Senate Bill 777).
    • Referred to the Senate Economic Development Committee on November 29, 2011.
      • Reported in the Senate on December 1, 2011, with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Amendment offered in the Senate on December 7, 2011, to eliminate a requirement that this former Wixom Ford plant be declared a tax-free "renaissance zone" by the local government for this subsidy to be approved. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on December 7, 2011.
  2. Passed 30 to 5 in the Senate on December 8, 2011, to authorize giving a $50 million state subsidy to a firm called “Townsend Ventures,” which says it wants to use the former Ford Motors Wixom plant to make systems related to electric car batteries. If enacted, this would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through (see 2009 Senate Bill 777).
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on December 8, 2011.
    • Referred to the House Tax Policy Committee on December 8, 2011.
      • Reported in the House on December 13, 2011, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on December 15, 2011, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on December 15, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on December 15, 2011, to tie-bar the bill to House Bill 4815, meaning this bill cannot become law unless that one does also. HB 4815 would establish that incandescent light bulbs of any wattage may be sold in Michigan if they are completely made in Michigan, notwithstanding a federal law phasing-in a ban on bulbs 40 watts and above starting in 2012. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on December 15, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R) on December 15, 2011, to establish as the "intent of the legislature" that money not paid in past subsidy deals that never came off (or are later reduced) be used to reduce the amount of property tax imposed on business tools and equipment ("personal property tax"). Note: These "savings" are purely notional, because no money is set aside in a "lockbox" for these subsidy deals; corporate subsidy payments come from the state's regular cash flow, under "pay as you go" accounting. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on December 15, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R) on December 15, 2011, to revise details of the tax filing status of business subsidy recipients. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on December 15, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Mike Shirkey (R) on December 15, 2011, to require additional reporting to the legislature on the number of future jobs created and tax revenue generated by this proposed subsidy deal. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on December 15, 2011.
  4. Passed 82 to 24 in the House on December 15, 2011, to authorize giving a $50 million state subsidy to a firm called “Townsend Ventures,” which says it wants to use the former Ford Motors Wixom plant to make systems related to electric car batteries. If enacted, this would be the second time the legislature has authorized a large cash subsidy for an outfit wanting to use this closed plant; the first deal fell through (see 2009 Senate Bill 777). The bill would also reduce by $25 million a similar subsidy for a Johnson Controls Corporation battery plant (which is also the beneficiary of almost $300 million in federal subsidies, and potentially up to $48.5 million in other Michigan subsidy/tax breaks).
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the Senate on December 15, 2011, to concur with the House-passed version of the bill, which also revises the terms of another battery car corporate subsidy. Passed 35 to 3 in the Senate on December 15, 2011.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  6. Signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on December 21, 2011.

Comments