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Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Even with popularity dive, business community excited over accomplishments in Snyder's first two years

By Ben Freed

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and other statewide business groups are very pleased with the first two years of Rick Snyder’s tenure as governor, MLive’s Melissa Anders reports.

The report comes on the heels of a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that shows the governor's disapproval rating jumping to 57 percent, a 19 percent swing from their most recent poll in early november.


Snyder's first two years in office have been very positive for the business community.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Many of the legislative priorities set out by the groups, including eliminating the Michigan Business Tax and Personal Property Tax, were accomplished, and making Michigan a right-to-work state was a major “win” for the camp. According to the report, the legislature also passed a bill last week to get rid of the equipment tax paid by manufacturers.

Even with much accomplished, the business community still has a wish list for the second half of the governor’s term. New focus could include reforming Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance, an issue that Governor Snyder has said is on his agenda.

Click here to read the full report from

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

April 2012 unemployment- 8.3% October 2012- 9.1% Yep, The Plan seems to be working. Lower business taxes appear to be bringing in jobs by the train full. Perhaps we could try higher wages and see if that drives purchasing by consumers. Just an idea.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Hopefully, the governor's unfortunate, narrow-visioned, single-minded, corporate empire state agenda debacle is starting to become clear to everyone. We're suffering and sacrificing while big business rolls in the dough, toasts with Dom Perignon, snickers, demands more incentives and celebrates. All-time record US corporate profits while those who can least afford it continue to be trodden upon, pay more and more, and get even less. The damage that is being done to this state by this governor and legislature will take years to repair and recover from....................


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

If union busting, transferring the costs of doing business in Michigan to the poor, the elderly and the middle class, passing hate bills that bust the rights of gays, women and families and trying to install guns in every corner of every building and area in Michigan as well as voiding democratic processes is good for business, then those who have nothing but disdain for the rights of others can cheer for the business community, whatever that may be. Pfizer left the area because of plummeting profits in their worldwide organization, moving to eliminate areas of research and development (Ann Arbor) in efforts to consolidate their position. Read the "Pink House" to get another view of Pfizer. Synder has also signed into law bills that weaken oversight of work health and safety issues, added the requirement that citizenship must be affirmed on both absentee ballot applications as well as at the polling places, put severe limitations on recall processes, repealed decades old and important protections of the Natural Resoures and Environmental Protection Act which essentially will allow polluters to pollute our waters and environment without penalty; phased out the Personal Property Tax with no plans on revenue replacement, re-instituted the Emergency Manager law in a "in your face" push back against the will of the citizens of Michigan. What will come up again in the next term will be laws that permit health care providers to discriminate against the injured and ill if they are gay, have HIV or are having a problematic abortion (miscarriage); permitting adoption agencies to discriminate because of religious and moral beliefs, and the continued assault on our public school system including the conversion of public to for-profit charter schools. Governor Synder doesn't mention President Obama's auto bail out which he had nothing to do with and has played a major role in Michigan's recovery.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

Public Policy Polling has Snyder's popularity rating at 38 percent, a drop of 9 points since the last sampling. But he remains strong with De Vos and the Koch brothers. It's the best state government money can buy.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

As someone that actually runs a business, I can say without question the new policies help. The old Michigan Business Tax was insanely complicated and made it very hard to predict tax expenses ahead of time. Once the personal property tax is gone it will finally be easy to run a business in this state, although there are other improvements that would also help, like moving businesses to quarterly rather than monthly filings.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

How many new positions have you created as a direct result of the end of MBT? I agree with you it was a mess and needed to be changed. I too own a business, but my plans are driven by amount of revenue and projected revenue more than by tax policy. My business is up, not sure I can claim it is due to MBT changes as I am a consumer driven business, not business to business.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Snyder experiences an absolutely remarkable drop in popularity but what does focus on? The business community loves Loves LOVES him!

harry b

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Wait until Michigan 9.1 % unemployment rate drop dramtically in two years. It will. Even if Snyder wasn't elected it still would drop. Its just the natural cycle of recessions. People will love him.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

National unemployment has gone down a full % point since Nov of 2011. MI's had gone down .5%, and is actually rising over the last 8 months, from a low of 8.3 to now over 9%.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

This great for the Michigan Chaamber of Commerce cabal. It means more profits, no change to operations, and no jobs created. For the citizens it stinks. Education funding has shrunk placing us in the bottom tier of educational funding in the country. The PPT elimination will benefit the bottom line of the exisitng companies but increase taxes for the citizen. We now have the right to earn less, work more for less and lose health insurance. The roads and highwasy are in a desperate state of repair. We have the war on womans rights in progress . But yea for the benefit to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce cabal and the money they used to buy the legislature.

harry b

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Right to work state average a percentage point lower in unemployemnt on average. Out of the top 15 states in lowest unemployment, 12 are right to work. The average wage is 3.2% lower in right to work states. That .48 cents on a $15 hour job. Worth every penny to have lower unemployment.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9 p.m.

So let me get this straight... Rick is bad because he raised a few taxes so he could spur economic growth and make Michigan biz friendly again after years of JG driving biz away.. ...but Obama is good because he is also raising taxes so he can just give the money away? Got it.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Perhaps you could cite some employment statistics to back up these claims? MI- 8.3%-9.1% for the period April 2012-Oct 2012 National unemployment in the same period- 8.1% to 7.7% Taxes raised by Obama from 2009 to 2012- cigarette tax.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Raising taxes on the retired and middle class does nothing but decrease demand for goods and services, which in turn keeps the companies which provide goods and services from hiring. No company hires because their taxes have gone down, they hire when more people buy their goods or services. Obama want to keep the tax increases off the middle class and raise taxes on the rich.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

I think it's too soon to predict Snyder's reelection prospects. I voted for him in 2010 but if he signs the gun bill currently on his desk I will not do so in 2014.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

a2citizen: I am very happy that Snyder quickly vetoed the gun law. Having lived through a school shooting in my community in 2007, I am strongly in favor of gun control. I mostly vote Republican so would probably still vote for Snyder in 2014.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

So now that he has vetoed the gun bill what is your reason for not voting for him in 2014?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

The Detroit News is reporting that Snyder will veto the gun bill.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

Why? Because guns are currently ALLOWED in schools, and he'll just make harder to do so with this bill. OK, good logic...


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

The time for a part time legislature has come, 282 bills in less than a month and a half shows they are fleecing us blind the rest of the year hanging out with lobbyists and the like. Where is the productivity the rest of the year? I'd also think like any part time employee they wouldn't take the cadillac benefit plan they are currently getting. Also, if we go part time we should be able to double term limits.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Had to be done in the Lame Duck session! The Kochs and ALEC said so...


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

There are polls you have to learn to ignore. There are some very serious polls and analysts out there like Nate Silver at NYTimes or Rasmussen. If Public Opinion Strategies releases a poll - it is nonsense supporting Republicans. If Public Policy Polling releases a poll like this one - it is nonsense supporting Democrats. needs to filter out the ones who create news from biased polls. Both sides play the game and will continue to play the game until they are called on it.

The Picker

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

Isn't anyone tired of being gamed by ALL the hired help ?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Wait, so PPP is biased, but Rasmussen is OK? Me thinks you know not what you are talking about.

Ben Freed

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Man, While Public Policy Polling has been aligned with the Democratic Party in the past, the firm has a track record of accurate polling including (like Nate Silver) calling every state correctly in the 2012 presidential election. We take polling from respected firms seriously, and we (again, like Nate Silver) respect PPP as one of a number of those firms. Silver gives PPP polls full weight in his 538 forecasts. Rassmussen, for the record, has also been accused in the past of having a (slight) Republican bias. Ben


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Great. All the business tax breaks have been at the expense of raising taxes on retirees in the state of Michigan. Good work, Rick! Hope you have another job lined up in 2014 when you are voted out of office!


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

I'm sure the Koch brothers will reward him greatly when he's not re-elected in Michigan.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Also massive cuts to education.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

If right wing Rick thinks the conservatives are the best thing since sliced bread, then why does he send his kids to A2 schools, in a city of liberal Democrats? Why doesn't he send his kids to Grand Rapids schools, a far more conservative city? Isn't everything conservative better? How about it Rick? Stop the hypocrisy. For that matter, why does he live in the liberal city of A2? Why not live among his own kind, out in Grand Rapids? Rick is a slick, hypocritical politician. He ran as a moderate and turned out to pander to the extreme right wing of his party. Just look at the extreme legislation he rammed through the legislature in December before all the extremists that were voted out left office. Rick ignores the state of Michigan's vote on the emergency manager proposal on the ballot in November that was voted DOWN, and rams through another emergency manager bill last week! He doesn't get it! He is backed by the extremist Koch billionaire boys out in Kansas, so get ready for a fierce campaign in 2014. Can't wait for 2014 to vote him OUT!


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Ricks kids go to a private school: Greenhills School The 2012-2013 school year tuition for middle school students is $19,290 and for upper school students is $19,680. per pupil spending in public schools ranges from 10k-17/yr. Guess who cut education funding for public schools?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

oh he gets it just fine. He just doesn't care about the people of the state and is simply trying to ram through his agenda. He was never as moderate as he claimed. It was only a ruse to fool progressives from Ann Arbor.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

so... i guess now we'll get to see how all this pro-business rhetoric translates to lowering the unemployment rate, right?

Claude Kershner

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Rick Snyder is a shoe-in for reelection should he decide to run. After 8 years after economic disaster (Michigan lost its AAA credit rating, lost a congressional seat due to people leaving the state in droves and was near dead last in being business friendly under Gov. JG) Snyder has successfully laid the groundwork for both state solvency and business (read JOBS) growth. Why do you think Psizer left Ann Arbor without a phone call to Lansing to say they were going? The local impact of that move alone on home values, tax revenue and charitable contributions remains to this day. Psizer was in such a hurry to get their employees out of here they gave cash incentives to homeowners effectively lowering home values by another 25k below their already depressed values. Where was the outrage at Gov. G when that happened? Snyder isn't very popular with the 79% of the Ann Arbor voters who voted for Obama in November but away from that bubble he has credibility. Assuming the unemployment numbers continue to decline and new businesses come to Michigan there will be no stopping the Republican's from retaining the House and Senate as well.

Claude Kershner

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Leaguebus: according to the Michigan Labor Market information, Data explorer the employment situation in Michigan since 2006 was as follows: 2006: 4,723,000 2007: 4,678,000 2008: 4,550,000 2009: 4,200,000 2010: 4,147,000 2011: 4,178,000 Unemployment in Michigan is down in 2012 vs. 2011. You say the Snyder's policies have raised unemployment by 1% but that's misleading since it is only a projection in the areas of education and public safety and not reflective of the total employment picture.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Claude, what is the unemployment rate in A2 compared to the rest of the state? Is the state unemployment rate going up or down?

Claude Kershner

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

Fjord: if Snyder loses in 2014 I will buy you a beer downtown A2. If he wins you buy. The fantasy land you say I live in is only half right: I live in The People's Republic of Ann Arbor. 22 square miles surrounded by reality.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

In fact Michigans business climate was 17th in the country when Granholm left office. It is now 18th in the country. She cut more money from the Michigan budget than any other state in the union, about $1B. She never cut education by $1B in one year like the Rickster did. When she left the state was financially on good footing. The only reason our economy is doing better now is the Obama bailout of the auto companies. Snyders tax cuts have raised the unemployment rate in the state by an estimated 1%, all of these jobs are well paid teaching and public safety. By the way, 70% of the projected new jobs will be toward the minimum wage range.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Claude lives in a fantasy land. Snyder's a goner, and gerrymandering is the Republicans' only chance of holding onto the legislature.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

pfizer shut the ann arbor site because they had too many R&D labs after years of growth by acquisition and not enough blockbusters in the pipeline, it's that simple. all the incentives in the world wouldn't have saved it.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Snyder never intended to be a two-term governor. He knew he'd never maintain the support of the progressives who thought, that just because he had ties to Ann Arbor, that he'd be moderate. Some of us knew better. Now all of us do.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

That is the way GOP trickle down works. Business in Michigan get more money and their "excitement" then translates into jobs. With all that overwhelming enthusiasm we should be pushing near full employment. Anytime now. It has only been two years. Gonna happen real soon. Vote for us again just to make sure.. Yep. Here they are now. Just over that next little hill. Coming around that big bend. Won't be long. Yessiree man. On their way. Any time now. We're so excited !


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

I think trickle down economics started with president RR. Doesn't matter, both parties make the same promise and deliver the same results. The only difference is which greasy hand gets the public money.

Claude Kershner

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

Did you lift that from Gov. JG second inaugural speech? I seem to recall her saying something about how in a few years we would be blown away by Michigan's amazing progress? Instead she left Michigan broke, top 5 state in the country for unemployment and a population migration out of state that weakened our voice in Washington DC (loss of congressional seat). Not much of a legacy.

Ivor Ivorsen

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

From the MLive article... "A majority of respondents, 52 percent, say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions; 33 percent have an unfavorable opinion; and 15 percent are unsure." What is important to Gov. Snyder, however, is that 100 percent of Koch brothers have an unfavorable opinion of labor unions.

rusty shackelford

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

The framing of this article suggests that the business interests that are Snyder's sole constituency care about popularity/what the public thinks. The way they passed these things, with armed guards and literally under the cover of darkness--suggests that they don't. It may have all been legal from a parliamentary point of view. Just don't call it democracy.

The Picker

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

Shacks A lot like the Unaffordable care act. I guess that's how our political system and democracy works in the brave new world


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Rusty, you nailed it. Speaks volumes about that instead of focusing on the stunning drop in Snyder's approval rating, they emphasize what business thinks. Might as well end the charade and just have the Chamber of Commerce write these articles.

Rick Stevens

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

I'd be excited if I'd gotten a lot free money ($1.8 BILLION) with no strings attached to produce one job. The business rich want more and more state expenses (roads, bridges, etc.) transferred to the little people.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

Democrat polling firm. Big deal.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Turns out the Electoral College has a democratic bias this time 'round. Silly Founders!


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

All polls are liberal, biased blah blah....that's all heard months leading up to the Presidential election. Is the humble pie tasting any better yet?

John Q

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

We should ignore the results when they had Snyder up in the polls too?

harry b

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

I discredit any polling firm that is partisian and I would guess most people would. Just common sense.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

I assume you discredit "Republican" polling firms too...oh no? you're just as much a partisan as those you criticize?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Bahahahahahahahahahahaha! Um.....


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

Just to clarify: I'm laughing at the notion of anyone being satisfied with Snyder. Second Prop 2 was defeated because opponents lied about what Prop 2 would actually do. Okay, lied might be a strong word. They hid behind the "don't change our constitution" smack talk. I'm pro union and anti Snyder. Im looking forward to voting him out in 2014.If something in my laugh made you think otherwise I apologize for the misdirection.

harry b

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

Dancing "Just last month we were talking about how much Rick Snyder's popularity had improved over the last year," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm in North Carolina. I would put too much stock in that poll. Proposal 2 lost by a landslide. Most citizens have a negative view of unions

Ben Freed

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Hi Dancing, We added that to the aggregation, it just didn't make it in to the first round for some reason! Ben


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

I just got a card in the mail from the state warning me that my state taxes were going to go up significantly. The card stated that those most effected were going to be retirees, people that make more than $50K, and people who's houses were worth more than $135K. I am going to pay about $1200 more this year than last.Needless to say I am incensed. He cuts taxes on business and piles them onto the backs of the retired and middle class. 2014 cant come early enough.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Insidious, sneaky, behind-the-back taxes. The 1st clue should have been the Sly Nerd taxing Grampy and Grammy's pensions!


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

If you can't tell the difference between an official mailing from the state and propaganda, that says a lot.

John Q

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 4:40 a.m.

This is why the tax increases on the middle class were pushed out to 2012 so that most people would be unaware of them until they did their taxes in early 2013. Thank the Republicans and Snyder for the state tax increases.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

That was Rick Snyder's idea of a Christmas card.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

Hey Mich, the Cool-Aid must have tasted good. Before I got the card in the mail, my accountant who is a good Republikan, handed me a piece of paper and told me to read it and weep. It was about the upcoming tax increases on retirees and the middle class.

Brad Battey

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

@Michisbest: must have gotten hacked, too:,1607,7-238-43535_43538---,00.html

Nikki River

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Why wait? Where's the recall petition?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

BS another fool I got the same card it is NOT from the State. It is like all the other crap that says "official Business" on the envelope.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

"Good for business" has come to mean "bad for citizens." I look forward to ridding Michigan of the disaster that is Rick Snyder in the 2014 elections.

Frustrated in A2

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

I couldn't agree more.


Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

I got the same X-mas card, so glad his business buddies are taking my money...

harry b

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Nikki Ya because that recall worked so well last year. They raised $12,000 for the recall when they needed $250,000. It didn't even get off the ground.

Nikki River

Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

Why wait? Where's the recall petition?


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.