You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Bill Ford: Michigan must eliminate personal property tax, build new bridge to Canada

By Nathan Bomey

Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. today endorsed the elimination of Michigan's personal property tax and urged the Michigan Legislature to authorize the construction of a new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor.

Ford, speaking this afternoon at the Washtenaw Economic Club at Washtenaw Community College, outlined his support for the elimination of the personal property tax, which taxes companies' equipment and hits manufacturing companies particularly hard.


Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., seen here speaking at the 2011 Detroit auto show, said today that Michigan must eliminate the personal property tax.

File photo |

He said Michigan is at a "competitive disadvantage" to other Midwestern states because of the personal property tax.

"These are taxes that we pay on machinery or equipment," he said. "Michigan's reliance on this property tax places an additional burden on anybody who's thinking about investing in this state."

His statement comes as Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature are in the early stages of considering how to change or eliminate the personal property tax — and how to replace the revenue, which is a large part of most municipalities' budgets.

On Friday, the Ann Arbor area's state representatives and senators — three Republicans and three Democrats — agreed that the personal property tax needs to go. But they all want to replace the lost taxes with another revenue source.

Ford also called on the Michigan Legislature to authorize a public-private partnership that would build a new bridge over the Detroit River, in part by using $550 million from Canada.

All the major U.S. automakers have endorsed the new bridge, which is supported by Snyder and most Democrats but has been blocked by legislative Republicans who question whether the bridge will be economically viable.

The bridge proposal has also faced fierce opposition from the Ambassador Bridge owners, who have fought the bridge with a multi-million advertising campaign.

Both sides have debated whether additional capacity is needed over the Detroit River. Supporters say many Michigan companies would benefit economically by additional capacity over the river. Opponents, including the Ambassador Bridge owners, say traffic is down and a new government-owned bridge is not needed.

Ford said the Dearborn-based automaker sends about 600 trucks across the U.S.-Canada border every day.

The Ambassador Bridge is "becoming capacity strained, which is costing our region money and, ultimately, jobs," Ford said.

"We’re hopeful that the Legislature will act decisively to create a new border crossing," he said. "To compete as a world-class community, we also need world-class infrastructure."

Ford, who became the first major business leader to endorse Snyder during the Ann Arbor venture capitalist's 2010 gubernatorial campaign, also offered a brief critique of a tax-credit-free tax policy.

Snyder cut Michigan business taxes by about $1.7 billion, but he also eliminated most of the state's future business tax credits, choosing to maintain an annual pool of $100 million for all tax incentives instead of maintaining individual tax credit programs for specific industries.

Ford today called on the state not to abandon "tax incentives that encourage and create new jobs."

Nationally, Ford, a self-proclaimed environmentalist, called on the U.S. to form a national energy policy.

"People will say we don’t want to pick winners and losers, and I’m respectful of that, but within that framework I think we can have a discussion about where do we want to go as a nation and how do we get there," Ford said.

Ford declined to discuss Ford Motor Co.’s pending contract with the United Auto Workers union, except to say that social media sites like Facebook have changed the communication strategy during contract discussions.

“Everybody gets a voice out very quickly and information whether real or partial gets out immediately,” Ford said. “It’s a new world. And it’s a challenge in some respects, it’s also great for information flow and democracy in another sense.”

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

Uh.... I thought Ford was foe the american way and get the government out of the way--- seems like he has changed his tune a bit now that he wants a bridge that apparently is not needed, built via tax payer money (yeah yeah on the Canadian money) as this will not be utilized due to over building and under usage therefore subsidy will need to be provided by the taxpayer. I guess Bill Ford likes this idea as he will be able to get his trucks across faster (due to wide open lanes) and at a lower cost as we will be subsidizing the cost of maintenance of the bridge via tax!


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

You should go look around the neighborhoods on both sides of the Ambassador bridge that the bridge truck traffic has destroyed. You'd see why both sides want a new route although I suspect you would not care much for the plight of the people stuck in the path of the current bridge. The Canadians will likely close their end of the Ambassador if they can. Do not believe what Maroun has been claiming- that bridge is a huge cash cow and the new one will be, too.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

We need a new "public owned" bridge and eliminate the property tax. Ford won't comment on union negotiations because the auto workers don't have a clue as to what it really takes to "run a business". GM still has 23 BILLIION dollars of taxpayer money they're giving away to the UAW which is using that as a negotiating basis, Ford did not take any taxpayer money and now the UAW rejected a fair contract. I'm hoping Ford just shuts the company down and says "screw it, let 'em go to work for GM".


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:14 a.m.

I agree with you about the bridge. That money SHOULD be used to fund state obligations long before tax increases and benefit cuts to those who can least afford them. But: &quot;Ford won't comment on union negotiations because the auto workers don't have a clue as to what it really takes to &quot;run a business&quot;.&quot; This: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Ford's idea of how to run a business, too. So let's go easy on the hero worship. Ford decided it would be better to let people die, then try to sue, than to fix an $11.00 part and make Pinto's safe.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

Mike K wrote: &quot;Capitalism oppresses the proletariant [sic] !! Corporations provide no value to society!!! Do schools teach American history any more? Do people understand why America is a nation? Are the founding principles &quot;old&quot;?&quot; Please quote the Declaration of Independence, &quot;Common Sense,&quot; &quot;The Crisis,&quot; The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, the Federalist Farmer, or the Anti-Federalist Papers regarding how corporations fit into America's founding principals. Good Night and Good Luck

Mike K

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Corporations allow ANYONE to earn success and find &quot;happiness&quot; in doing so. I feel great after a big success. The guy who changes my oil feels good when I tell him his shop is excellent and tell him I'm going to refer him to others. The person who sold me my computer should have felt great when I thanked them for all of their help. Corporations can provide us the pursuit of happiness for those of us who CHOOSE to make the most of it.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

How about Smith's &quot;The Wealth of Nations&quot;?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

Don't you have any sympathy for the Governor's daughter sitting in her American Government lessons at school? Depriving electorate knowledge ample to legitimately cast ballot? That taxation without representation lecture alone must be just excruciating.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

We just went over the Bluewater Bridge twice this past weekend. If the Ambassador Bridge/Windsor Tunnel have the same problems, it's not a lack of capacity on the bridge, but a lack of customs staff and stations on the receiving side. The Bluewater Bridge itself was pretty empty, but the the customs stations were packed, especially entering Canada last night. Those poor people were backed up across the bridge. As far as the property tax, it sounds like we're in a race to the bottom. But if everyone else is getting ahead in that race, we don't have a lot of choice. Funny how the top 1% manage to get richer in those races to the sewer.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

1. &quot;Opponents, including the Ambassador Bridge owners, say traffic is down and a new government-owned bridge is not needed.&quot; Then why is Manny proposing building a second span that HE would own? Which is it Manny, do we need another bridge or not? 2. Companies put their plants where the stares BRIBE them to. Most of the foreign plants were built in the south because the states gave HUGE tax SUBSIDIES to make them build there. Yet Synder does not believe in tax incentives for movies or green energy. Those states took those jobs because the southern states paid for them. 3. Mr Ford, who paid for that field your sports team plays on in the fall? Why am I subsidizing your BILLION dollar football team that has won exactly ONE playoff game in my lifetime. You and your father have made BILLIONS of dollars off of the taxpayers in this state through your Pontiac Silverdome and Ford Field deal. (Mr Illitch would fall in that group as well) 4. Unemployment dropped steadily since August of 2009 until April of 2011 under Granholms plans. As Snyder's plans came along, the unemployment rate has risen a full 1%. This trend has happened in every midwestern state that has elected a republican governor after having a Democrat in office (Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois). All those govs coincided with republicans taking control of the house of reps. Private sector unemployment was shrinking rapidly until the republicans took control of the house, and amazingly it has stopped the economy dead in its tracks again Look at the linked graph: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Democrats takes over and immediately things improve, THEN in January 2011 republicans take the house and we see what happens. I wonder why the worlds largest corporation is located in one of the highest taxed states in the country? Wells Fargo, based in that low tax mecca of SAN FRANCISCO has a 21% increase in profits this quater, taxes have nothing to do with where a business locates


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

Johnny, Please review the link from November, 2009 posted below: <a href=""></a> Now review the article posted on March 9, 2011: <a href=""></a>

Mike K

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

Do you have the ticker symbol for Wells Fargo? Sounds like a good company to invest in. I love Ford vehicles, you?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

Don't listen to Ford, corporate greed!!!! Stop buying cars, you're supporting Wall Street!


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Please don't, janeqdoe


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

and cell phones... and internet service... and personal hygiene products... and electronics... and medications... and the majority of clothing, furniture, and raw materials that went into your living space... I could go on and on...


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

@Mike Martin The market confidence, just as the public's, will return when the constitutional Michigan is returned from those charged by it in January. Do you believe it is wise to do business with those who dodge the public while campaigning for initial public service? If so, I am glad you don't invest my money. The only debate the US Speaker of the House is qualified for is where the 19th hole is. That is it. You want to invest there? Please. Clarence Thomas is squatting on The US Supreme Court since his wife's income is hidden within the prevarication of his income tax filing. And you want to invest here?


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

vote republican again and see who pays for another tax shift. or is it SHAFT.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

No Rob, corporations are not people. I'll explain this to you in terms you can understand: Corporations are an entity that serves as a form of business ownership. Corporations are ultimately owned by people called Stockholders, managed by other people called the Board of Directors, and staffed by people known as Employees. They make money by selling products and services to people who are Customers. For a corporation to survive, they must make a profit, otherwise they will go bankrupt, or dissolve and cease to exist (think Borders). When a corporation pays more taxes, they will somehow compensate for the increased costs, as I explained above. This can all be learned in a Business 101 class.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Is that why corporations are now people? I thought they where special entities who paid republicans to lower their taxes and vote as they directed. My mistake.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:05 a.m.

Who do you think really pays taxes? The bottom line is that People pay taxes, no matter who is being taxed, and no matter who is in office. When a corporation is taxed, who do you think ulimately bears the burden? It is the shareholder who receives a reduced dividend, the employee who doesn't get a raise, and the customer who is charged more so that the corporation can continue to make a profit and stay afloat.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

Mike - you should review some time why Toyota chose to place a manufacturing plant in Canada instead of Michigan. It wasn't about taxes and unions (sorry to bring facts to this discussion, but facts matter). July 2005: &quot;But last month Toyota decided to put the new plant, which will produce RAV4 mini-S.U.V.'s, in Ontario. Explaining why it passed up financial incentives to choose a U.S. location, the company cited the quality of Ontario's work force. What made Toyota so sensitive to labor quality issues? Maybe we should discount remarks from the president of the Toronto-based Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, who claimed that the educational level in the Southern United States was so low that trainers for Japanese plants in Alabama had to use &quot;pictorials&quot; to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech equipment. But education is only one reason Toyota chose Ontario. Canada's other big selling point is its national health insurance system, which saves auto manufacturers large sums in benefit payments compared with their costs in the United States.&quot; So what is our state doing now? Cutting education to the bone and fighting any change in our health insurance mess. When you disregard facts and reality and choose ideology then this will continue.

Mike K

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

The quality of our workforce is highly entitlted and expensive. The &quot;pictorials&quot; seemed to ave worked. Education is entirely portable. I'm tired of liberals and education. I packed up my education from the east coast and brought it here FOR A JOB.

Leah Gunn

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

The Personal Property Tax is collected by local governments, such as the city and the county, not by the state. If the PPT were to be eliminated, that would mean about a $5 million shortfall in county revenues (out of a total of about $90 million in current property tax revenue), unless it were replaced by some other source of revenue. Counties and other local jurisdictions are not permitted by the Michigan constitution to levy any other kind of tax, except property tax. And, the county cannot raise the tax rate without a vote of the people. The same is true for townships and cities. We at the County are under deep stress right now to retain our level of funding for human services, which is about $1 million per year. It is scheduled to be reduced for 2012/13. In addition, our state revenue sharing &quot;trust fund&quot; (your local money, not the state's) disappears at the end of 2013. It is highly unlikely that that revenue will be reimbursed by the state, although they made us that promise ten years ago. What are local governments supposed to do? In the case of the county, the proposed budget was reduced by $17 million through department reductions and consolidations, and by concessions from the unions. The state already destroyed the safety net by requiring that people leave welfare after 4 years - with no plans for jobs, job training, child care, or rent payments. If they are lucky the families (and this is ONLY families with children, not adults - adults are not eligible for cash assistance) will still receive Medicaid and Food Stamps. How will they pay the rent? And who knows what the state will do next? This does not even take into consideration the federal government, which has appinted the Committee of 12 to make recommendations for massive budget reductions. Any solutions out there?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

Not anymore of an unfair tax than the real property tax we pay on our homes every year. The vast majority of the states (around 38) have had this for a long time just like us, not a new tax or way of paying for services by any means. The states that don't have it typically have different types of business taxes in it's place and/or tax real estate at a higher rate.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:28 a.m.

The solution that was avoided for far too long by state county and federal governments as well as private individuals and families was to live within your means. That was not wise. Now the solution - for entities to live within their means - is becoming painfully apparent. Despite the pain - not just at the county - but also at the millions of kitchen tables - should not justify an unfair tax that repeats itself again and again all the while making us less competitive as a place to do business.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 4:30 a.m.

&quot;...that would mean about a $5 million shortfall in county revenues... unless it were replaced by some other source of revenue.&quot; excuse me but an UNFAIR tax on businesses (or anyone for that matter) that taxes the SAME item repeatededly is still an unfair tax, regardless of what that money is used for. Why do some places not have it and others do? because the ones that do just needed an excuse to pocket some more coin at the cost of the consumer. You collect the taxes first, then spend the money from them, you don't budget stuff, then tax people (or raise taxes) to cover the shortfall. This is what has gotten the country, the county and the city in trouble, spending money they don't yet have. The Personal Propert Tax only collects so much until businesses either LEAVE or don't come here to begin with, so you will always have a shortfall because it drives business AWAY. Not having the tax would actually bring business here, create more jobs, bring more families in and acutally increase PRIVATE donations to social services. Private institutions have always done a better job at helping the poor/needy than government has and ever will. Government run programs are not cost effective, they have much overlapping, are mismanaged (etc!) and are run by government employees that get paid more and have more expensive benefit packages than private run social services.

Mike K

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

Fly, you might be wrong. Check this out: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

Don't expect any from the proponents. All they understand is if it's a tax it should be cut, damn the ramifications. I'm sure the state/local caught them surprise. It wasn't supplied in the pamphlet they got from the Chamber of Commerce. It was stated earlier but let me repeat it.............No tax cut ever ever created a job. It only reduced the amount of funds provided to the taxing authority. And there isn't a reputable study that can prove otherwise.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

Don't bother, Bunny. They already have their talking points from the occupy Detroit people. Both of them.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

Oy vey


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

Hey people, He's talking about PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX, (the stuff inside the buildings, ie: equipment/machinery) it is different and seperate than Property Tax (which is the buildings/land buildings are on). They are completely different tax issues. Tax abatements as far as I know only deal with Property Tax (land use) and NOT the Personal Property Tax


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

Abatements are for the Personal Property also. The two taxes more or less are calculated on 50% the market value of the property.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

if anyone doesn't understand the personal property tax thing let me explain it some. Businesses go out and buy equipment, pay sales tax on it from whatever state they buy it in, pay shipping, set up, or import taxes/fees (if purchased from overseas). Then every year they are then taxed for that equipment, even as it depreciates in value. It's like being taxed over and over from the same darn thing. an example for the average person would be if you went out and bought a dresser and paid sales tax on it then put it in your house, and then continued to pay tax on it for every year you had it in your house using it even as the drawer pulls fell off and all the paint chipped off. personal property tax doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense at the state level or the city level. I went out and bought the displays for my business and then every year ann arbor charges me a personal property tax for using them. as for commentors comments regarding who will get stuck with the bill, the regular folk. You have already been stuck with paying out of pocket for this for years. Who do you think the businesses pass the cost on to? YOU. Eliminating PPT is GOOD for consumers in the long run. (it's a &quot;fee&quot; that doesn't get passed on to them) and it also will draw more businesses here who would otherwise go to another state that doesn't have PPT, which means more jobs, more homeowners: more property tax revenue, more money for per kids education, more money for roads, etc etc.

Dennis Hallock

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

oh that's kind of like my house, my car, my wages, my pension. When do I get my tax relief? You already said that the companies are passing their taxes on to us. Doesn't that mean that they are essentially going tax-free already?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

You fail to mention that you pay on 50% of a depreciated value, you aren't ever being assesed on the full cost of the equipment.

CommonSesnse ViewPoint

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

I guess what is the argument against reducing property taxes? Couldn't these taxes be reduced not &quot;eliminated&quot; and shouldn't the state make some effort incentivizing the private sector to invest in this state? What are the solutions presented by the Democrats? or extreme left? To continue taxing and expanding programs to help the poor? I'm shocked however to see that three democrats agree personal property tax needs to go. I do agree as well though, without replacing this revenue the government will be forced to either cut back OR raise taxes else where. Here lies the conundrum... Raise taxes else where OR lower government spending? Tax the rich and middle class OR cut government investing in solyndra type companies? Raise Corporate taxes OR reduce spending in social programs that aren't producing anything? Occupy Wall Street OR Tea Party? Left OR Right?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

How about the middle, where most Americans agree and common sense lives?

Mike Martin

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

Well, it isn't a zero sum game as you suggest if the economy grows. If the economy were to expand both in Michigan and nationally there would be a little more money to play with. More employment, more people paying income taxes, less people needing unemployment funds.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

Ford knows that the auto plants built in other states were given huge subsidies/incentives to build there. In 2008, Tennessee gave VW at $577M subsidy to build in the state. That is why he called on us not to abandon tax incentives. But where do the tax incentives come from when Snyder cuts business taxes by almost $2B? Its not low taxes that bring jobs here, it large incentives and by mindlessly cutting taxes, we don't have the cash to compete with other states like Tennessee.

Mike Martin

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

It's overall tax policy that is a large factor in location decisions. Incentives are one element of that policy offsetting future taxes. Michigan's business taxation policies were dependent on heavily taxing the profitable auto companies which made it impossible to attract newcomers. The other element is the unions. Southern states are attracting those companies with more than incentives, they offer the opportunity to do business without adding the union burden to the equation. Those are the issues that Michigan has to compete with and so far has failed to do so.

Mike K

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

Capitalism oppresses the proletariant!! Corporations provide no value to society!!! Do schools teach American history any more? Do people understand why America is a nation? Are the founding principles &quot;old&quot;? I'm worried my kids might start thinking like this.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

It took me a while before I realized that your first two statements are actually satire.

Mike Martin

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

@godsbreath In the early 80's foreign companies started to open auto plants in the USA to manufacture here in the US. They have continued to do that for three decades- huge employers. The list of them is impressive including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mercedes, BMW etc. Michigan seems the logical choice for these companies since we have a large trained white collar and blue collar workforce in the field and a huge infrastructure built around automobiles including major parts supply chains. Yet not one foreign company ever once opened a manufacturing plant in Michigan. I think that is a shocking to think about. Why didn't they come here? Taxes and unions. So, what's the solution? Our unemployment rate is awful and we are the only state to have lost population in the last ten years. Another shocking fact. Snyder wants to make the state more friendly to business.. That seems like the right thing to do. Yet a bunch of lefties rant on here about the process of doing that. What is your solution? You don't like business friendly policies? How do we stop the stop losing our population and jobs then? Why couldn't we attract one single plant in Michigan when those companies came to the US?

Dennis Hallock

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

You seem to forget that there is a Mazda Plant in Flatrock. They also build the Mustang for Ford. They are a union shop. Also Toyota has UAW represented plants in the US and Japan. The real problem is the &quot;Big Three&quot; build more plants outside of the country than they do here. Check and see where the investment is really going. Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors destroyed many jobs in this state and in this country when they started to close and sell manufacturing plants and purchase them from Mexico, Korea, China, South America, etc.. They just announced a $1.6 billion dollar profit for the last quarter. Not to mention the tax abatements they already receive from local communities. Maybe if they built here they wouldn't need to send 600 trucks a day to Canada.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

When the ostrich sticks their head in the sand it isn't really that complex at all, Mike Martin. You don't want to face the hyper-chagrin of Richard Dale Snyder, ok. Sound business investment shouldn't be expected to either.

Mike Martin

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:19 a.m.

@ godsbreath - sorry, maybe i am just simple. But, I really don't understand your last post at all. Neither the point or the way you are making it. Right over my head.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Ah Mike Martin, those nine months were marred throughout by Snyd' myopic pessima fides. He didn't once bring a faithful return of the constitution he was charged from on the steps of our state capitol January 1st. Homie the Corp, don't come over to play that shame and this is no reason to vex the domicile any further with caca-meme that last beyond these corporate hookups. Say no to oppression. Geesh.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

I hate to rain on your parade but there are plenty of 'foreign' owned automotive plants that are in 'union' states. Ohio has Honda and many suppliers. There are many supplier plants here in Michigan as well. Selective data and Selective hearing indeed.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

@ dogman2: The real advantages that transplants have without union labor are, as you point out, not wage related since they pay the same scale. So why is an untrained general labor pool and imported domestic engineering talent a better deal? Control. Management sets their work process, attitude, training, expectation, rules and hiring and firing without negotiation with a Union. No protection for under performing workers, no tolerance of tardiness, no arguments over asking someone to do different things from one day to the next, no &quot;us v. them&quot; attitude, no strikes. It's worth a great deal in performance and job satisfaction. Something to chew on.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

If they really wanted to build here they could have applied for property tax abatements. They didn't apply, labor is cheaper overseas.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

And what have they gained by opening shop elsewhere, wages-wise? They pay the same as the UAW to keep the unions out. Their advantage is in the retirement benefits that they don't have to pay. But that is changing. Employees are retiring and the UAW has worked with the Detroit Three to take over the cost of these benefits. I read an article a year or so ago that GM had more employees retiring on a daily basis than Toyota had in total. Hardly an even playing field. But, again, the ledger is becoming more balanced.

Mike Martin

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Ah Rob, this issue has been developing for 30 years. They are all over the country settled elsewhere unfortunately. Making Michigan attractive to new businesses is a long term prospect. Snyder has been governor for 9 months. But, continuing along the same road of unattractive taxation policies and unions scaring off business will only net the same results - high unemployment, shrinking population, Detroit in ruins.

Mike K

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

What is interesting to a large extent is that a couple of the foreign car makers do have technical centers here in the SE Michigan area. It speaks volumes that they tap into the engineering and design expertise, yet choose to manufacture elsewhere. Well, it should speak volumes. Many have selective hearing. No sense arguing with some. They are bound by ideology to believe that &quot;corporations are bad for society&quot; and that anyone &quot;non-democrat&quot; has an illicit relationship with these &quot;corporations&quot;.

John of Saline

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

It takes a lot of cognitive dissonance to blame Snyder for Michigan's economy after he's been in office a few months, and at the same time claim that the national economy is all Bush's fault 2 1/2 years into Obama's presidency. But I do see Michigan Democrats trying to make that odd case.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

So where are they now that Snyder has given everything to the corporations, or people as they are now called I guess, now that he's made us so business friendly? Unemployment has only grown every month of his administration. Where are any businesses that were going to be attracted to our new tax structure?

Turd Ferguson

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Bill Ford Jr for Governor

John of Saline

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Canada doesn't want a second bridge at the location of the present one (for sound reasons of neighborhood traffic). That alone should make the decision for the new bridge.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

Not so - the largest Canadian highway project EVER has been undertaken to connect the bridge area to the 401 - for the new bridge as well. Windsor wants the bridge(s) to feed development, trade and commerce.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Matty Moroun does want a second bridge either. Which alone could be an excellent reason to build it.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

How appropriate it is that the Snyd' Administration is down to just the board Ford family still picking up his extremest pom-poms. The pickings are slimmer than the rhetoric. You could pour all of the promotion of public welfare at this event into just one of their espresso cups.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

False choice. Jenny didn't run from debates. She doesn't crest constitutional crisis.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

We are finally get a govenor that is trying to move michigans unemployement from one of the worst in the COUNTRY and you claim that he is in bed with business. Would you like to have Granholm back so you can be blown away again?????

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.



Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

&quot;On Friday, the Ann Arbor area's state representatives and senators — three Republicans and three Democrats — agreed that the personal property tax needs to go. But they all want to replace the lost taxes with another revenue source.&quot; Does anyone dare venture an educated guess as to the location of this new &quot;source&quot;? Might it be the backs of the populate?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Leaguebus WHERE did you get Michigan is 17 best???????????? I wonder why business choose to locate everywhere but here. Engler left a surplus of 1.3 billion dollar and 4.8 unemployement. Granholm turned that into 1.5 billion dollars deficit and 11.2% unemployment. Granted the economy is bad but why do we have to be 49 worst.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Not a $570 B, but $570M subsidy. Sorry.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This is a footnoted article on why auto companies choose certain sites for their plants. It also shows the downside as South Carolina was fiscally in bad shape due to their subsidies for plants. The bottom line, it was not Unions and taxes but huge $570 B dollar subsidies that dictated where these foreign plants were going to be placed.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

Under Granholm, we had the 17th best business climate in the country. We were higher than all states around us but Indiana. Since when does cutting taxes increase employment, anywhere? It certainly had the reverse effect in Michigan. Engler cut taxes and now we are the 49th worst state in the union.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

WE ARE 49th WORST STATE IN THE UNION. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Why do you think businesses dont want to locate here. One we are too expensive and two they dont want to fight the unions. Give Snyder a chance to fix this. We gave Granholm 8 years and the only business she managed to bring in were the movie companies. She alone managed to get us to the 49th spot. When Engler left we had 4.8% unemployement now we are at 11.2%. With Detroit hovering around 30%.