Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Martin announces plan to grow local economies, help Michigan businesses thrive
RELEASE|April 17, 2024
Contact: David Martin

State Rep. David Martin and Michigan House Republicans today announced a comprehensive plan to boost economic development throughout Michigan.

Martin, R-Davison, said the plan will improve the approach Michigan takes to economic development – solving problems small businesses struggle with every day in addition to providing fairness and accountability in the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) program, which has been used over the past two years to fund a series of subpar investments using taxpayer dollars.

A recent study by Bridge Michigan found that 40% of economic development deals create jobs paying below-median wages, and Ford’s planned factory in Marshall was approved for $1.8 billion in state incentives that amount to a more than $1 million cost per projected job.

“Here’s the problem with the approach Michigan has taken to economic development over the past few years: A few big corporations have gotten massive incentives funded by Michigan taxpayers, but they’re still laying off people,” said Martin, R-Davison. “Meanwhile, the businesses on Main Street are struggling.

“The governor’s strategy has been all about electric vehicles and big businesses, and that’s just not cutting it for the hardworking people operating the small businesses in our community. They need real support, not just flashy initiatives that never trickle down to Main Street.”

Martin joined House Republicans for a press conference laying out multiple crucial proposals that would improve the state’s overall growth plan, including measures that cut red tape to make a fairer and more streamlined regulatory environment, increase accountability over taxpayer-funded economic development projects, and reduce the income tax for Michiganders and small businesses.

“I will always stand up for the small, family-owned businesses that keep our communities thriving,” Martin said. “I hear and understand the problems they are facing, and I’m committed to making sure their voices are heard. The plan we announced today will put more opportunities into the hands of local entrepreneurs and make a real difference for small businesses across Michigan.”

The plan focuses on:

  • Respecting tax dollars in economic development programs: Michigan taxpayers should have their dollars spent responsibly, so the state’s economic development programs need more accountability to ensure taxpayers are getting a worthwhile return on investment. Michigan should audit payouts, reclaim funds when deals don’t deliver on their promises, increase transparency about paused projects, and require votes by all the people’s representatives on large-scale projects funded through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund. The state should also prioritize funds for small- and medium-sized businesses and coordinate permitting between the state and local governments to expedite projects.
  • Cutting red tape and make it easier to put people to work: Burdensome regulations and confusing bureaucracy impede workers and employers who are trying to succeed in Michigan. State government should streamline bureaucracy with a single, user-friendly portal where businesses and workers can deal with state agencies. The state should review and reevaluate regulations, paperwork, and licensing to determine what works and what only gets in the way of economic productivity and growth. Michigan should also restore policies that prevent bureaucrats from imposing stricter rules than the federal government or ignoring the input of experts and employers.
  • Measuring performance of state workforce programs: Taxpayers shouldn’t fund programs that don’t work, so Michigan should measure the performance of workforce programs to see whether they are successfully helping people develop skills or obtain good-paying jobs.
  • Increasing families’ paychecks: Thanks to Republicans, Michigan’s income tax rate decreased last year from 4.25% to 4.05%, and Michiganders and small businesses are receiving larger returns this spring as a result. However, legal maneuvering by the Whitmer administration and Attorney General Dana Nessel resulted in a tax hike. Michigan should restore the income tax cut so Michiganders can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks in the years ahead.
  • Restoring right-to-work: For more than a decade, Michigan’s right-to-work law guaranteed workers the right to choose whether to pay dues to a union, and many businesses look for right-to-work states where they can move or expand. Michigan Democrats repealed that successful law last year, and the state should restore this crucial freedom, so workers don’t have their paychecks cut to fund union bosses.

Additional details about the economic growth plan are available here.


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