GM responds to Michigan’s improved business climate

The Detroit News

The substantial changes Michigan has made to its tax environment under Gov. Rick Snyder’s leadership have made it more attractive for major hometown corporations such as General Motors to invest in the state.

GM announced Tuesday it is investing $240 million in its Warren Transmission Plant to build the electric drive unit for the second-generation Chevrolet Volt. That means most major Volt powertrain components will be made in Michigan.

The company is also making nearly $300 million in capital investments throughout the state between now and the end of the year.

The repeal of the Michigan Business Tax in 2011 under Snyder that saved Michigan companies about $1.65 billion helped pave the way for investments such as GM’s. And this year’s move to eliminate the onerous Personal Property Tax, which heavily discouraged manufacturing investments, made GM’s decision easier.

“Michigan is now a good place to expand,” CEO Mary Barra told The Detroit News editorial board.

A number of factors certainly went into GM’s decision about where and how to invest, including accessing the logistics, plant capabilities and needs for the production of the Volt.

But it’s no small feat for Michigan that it will capture half a billion dollars from the global company, which could have gone anywhere it chose.

Tax policies matter, and GM’s announcement is just one example of that.

As Michigan once again becomes a worthwhile place for businesses to invest, expect to see more good news like that from GM.