Lansing City Council approves tax incentives for potential GM battery plant

‘We’ve gotten back up onto the stage and we are competing again’
Lansing City Council approves tax incentives for potential GM battery plant
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:34 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Electric vehicle production comes with demand for new technology, like a new type of battery.

For one Mid-Michigan community, they don’t want to miss out on opportunities to make those valuable parts. The city of Lansing has been working to try to bring a GM battery production plant to the area, but other states are working on their own proposals.

Lansing city officials believe that securing a new GM plant would go a long way toward cementing Michigan’s place in the future of the electric vehicle industry. The Lansing City Council approved tax breaks for the potential battery plant Monday night.

The council’s decision reduces the personal and property taxes on the plot of land considered for the facility. City leaders said they wanted to make sure they got their bid in as soon as possible.

“With 1,700 jobs, the median income at $46,000 per job? That’s $78 million a year,” said Jeremy Whittum, with the Eaton County Board of Commissioners.

As an economics professor, Whittum crunched the numbers to show just how large of an impact the battery plant would make on the Mid-Michigan economy.

“When you put the money multiply in effect, that’s half a billion dollars of positive economic activity in our Mid-Michigan region,” Whittum said.

“Everyone understood that there are only so many battery plants yet to announce and build,” said Bob Trezise. “Maybe these are our last chances.”

Trezise, with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), spoke about the swift calls to action taken by the city of Lansing, the state of Michigan and others to ensure the proposal could move at a rapid speed so the offer could get in front of the executives at GM and their partners before its too late.

“Everyone understood that decisions are being made right now with only weeks to spend on this, that will set the course for the next 20 years as a state and here locally,” Trezise said.

He hopes the dedication the area has will impress other auto manufacturers who have yet to have announced their battery plants.

“As a matter of fact, we’ve had a number of big prospects and leads already contact us,” Trezise said. “We’ve gotten back up onto the stage and we are competing again.”

It’s now a matter of waiting for the response from GM. If the auto maker decides to build in Mid-Michigan, the plant would go on a 590 acre plot of land near the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant.

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that put more than a billion dollars toward attracting large businesses to Michigan. Some of the funding in the new law could help bring the battery plant to the area.

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