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Road Projects to Accelerate Michigan’s Economy


Thanks to an initiative proposed by the governor during her State of the State address, several road projects will start early, bringing thousands of jobs to Michigan.

In February, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced that 34 road projects across Michigan will be moved up from the 2009 construction season to 2008, creating around 2,100 new planning, engineering, and construction jobs. The announcement is one piece of the governor’s economic stimulus package unveiled in the State of the State address she delivered a month prior.

MICHIGAN FAST FACTS

Population (2006): 10,095,643

Largest Cities (2006): Detroit, 871,121; Grand Rapids, 193,083;
Warren, 134,589; Sterling Heights, 127,991; Flint, 117,068

Targeted Industries: Life sciences, advanced automotive technologies, homeland security and defense, alternative energy, tourism

Key Incentives: Industrial Property Tax Abatements, Michigan Economic Growth Authority, Economic Development Job Training, Tax-Free Renaissance Zones, Brownfields Redevelopment, Distressed Communities Personal Property Tax Abatement

MDOT is accelerating almost $150 million in road and bridge projects. The 34 projects are located in communities throughout the state and were selected because they could be started this year. Funding for the projects will be provided by bonding, taking advantage of current low interest rates, and refinancing some existing bonds.

“In addition to creating new jobs, we are also improving Michigan’s infrastructure and stimulating economic growth by making travel easier and more efficient for commuters and visitors who are traveling throughout our great state,” says Gov. Granholm.

Gov. Granholm proposed several other initiatives to help jump start Michigan’s economy during her State of the State address, including Invest Michigan!, a new fund that would make capital available to businesses that create new jobs in Michigan; $300 million in state pension funds would be committed over the next three years to open the fund. The Michigan Job Creation Incentive, a substantial business tax cut for any high-growth sector business that creates new jobs in Michigan, was also put forward. New businesses in these sectors would pay no taxes in the first year under the governor’s proposal; existing cutting-edge businesses would get a credit on their Michigan business tax. The state would take advantage of the recent cut in interest rates to refinance some state bonds to pay for this plan.

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