Proos Announces for State Senate

State Representative John Proos (R-St. Joseph) today announced his candidacy for the 21st State Senate seat. Proos, joined by his wife Kristy and three children, kicked-off his campaign stopping in Niles, Dowagiac, South Haven, and St. Joseph.

“I have the energy, vision and experience needed to represent southwest Michigan in the State Senate,” said John Proos R-St. Joseph. “Michigan, now more than ever, needs thoughtful leadership to ensure that we focus our efforts on creating an environment that fosters jobs for our families. I will continue to fight for the retooling of our tax policy, educating the next generation and sustaining our local communities.”

The 21st State Senate district includes Berrien, Cass and most of Van Buren Counties. It is currently held by the term-limited, Senator Ron Jelinek (R-Three Oaks).

“I am asking for the support and vote of individuals and families in southwest Michigan this August and November,” said Proos. “Our state is at a crossroads and I believe the right bipartisan policy decisions must be made to get Michigan back on track. Technology infrastructure, safe communities, a welcoming business environment and a world class education system are all necessary to rebuilding our state.”

In Proos’ tenure as State Representative he has made constituent service a top priority serving the 4,246 individuals, families and businesses in Northern Berrien County who have asked for assistance from his office.

“Throughout southwest Michigan we share common sense, family values,” said Proos. “And I would like to represent the people and families of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren in the Michigan Senate.”


Michigan Jobs Plan

February 2010

Click here to view Michigan Jobs Plan

Michigan must remove the impediments that keep businesses from investing in new jobs and is forcing them to move to other states to regain their competitiveness, and today the Jobs Task Force unveiled several concrete and attainable reform-proposals aimed at putting Michigan back to work.

The 33-page “Michigan Jobs Plan” is the work of the House Republican Strategic Task Force on Jobs. The plan culminates more than a year of research and fact-gathering from the most reliable source on Michigan’s flagging economy: the job providers that struggle daily to survive the state’s greatest economic slump since the Great Depression. The report will serve as a road map as the Caucus pursues a growth-oriented policy agenda in 2010.

The Michigan Jobs Plan outlines what it will take to get Michigan families back to work.  We need to encourage what our great state is known for — innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Over and over again, we heard that government doesn’t create jobs, but heard plenty of cases where government gets in the way of job creation

The Michigan Jobs Plan identifies three objectives that must be achieved to help put Michigan families back to work. First, the state must lower the tax burden on businesses to free up capital that can be invested in jobs. Second, obsolete and onerous regulations must be eliminated so that job providers can focus on greater profitability and productivity. Third, state economic development incentives and programs must be reevaluated to ensure that taxpayer money is being wisely spent on programs that deliver real and tangible benefits to the state’s economy.

Government doesn’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do.  Our plan encourages job providers to turn Michigan around by reinvigorating, reinvesting and reforming our state’s economy, creating an environment that fuels the economic engine in our state: small businesses.

The House Republican Michigan Jobs Plan Reinvigorates, Reforms and Reinvests the state’s economy by:

Increase entrepreneurship opportunities.
Demand results from tax credits.
Use tax credits as a tool to maximize job creation.
Require competition in providing tax credits.
Require local input on job creation.
Remove application fees from tax incentive applications.
Create transparency in the Economic Development Corporation.
Establish a comprehensive online economic development resource.

Consider Right to Work zones legislation.
Bring Michigan’s prevailing wage law in line with federal standards.
Provide more money for jobs and health care by reducing the Michigan Business Tax Surcharge.
Provide more money for jobs by eliminating the state Personal Property Tax.

Cut government red tape by increasing tax tribunal efficiency.
Approve clean coal-fired power plant permits.
Keep the state Geological Survey Division independent.
Prevent unemployment insurance fraud.
Reduce employer liability during unemployment appeals.
End UIA persecution of professional employer organizations.
Require a minimum level of DEQ efficiency.
Enact DEQ reforms.
Change how we do business as a state.
Let nothing stand in the way of jobs.
Promote better customer service.
Evaluate progress.

The Jobs Task Force was created to address Michigan’s economic crisis and put forward a plan of action to change the future. Members serving on the Jobs Task Force include Chairman Proos and state Reps. Jase Bolger of Marshall, Kim Meltzer of Macomb Township, Bill Rogers of Brighton and Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City.

GOP Call for Changes in Business Tax, Incentives

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. – Republicans in the Michigan House said Tuesday they want to phase out the surcharge on the state’s main business tax and reshape tax incentive programs in hopes of sparking job creation.

The broad, 33-page plan pitched by the House’s minority party calls for consolidating many of Michigan’s industry-specific tax breaks such as those for alternative energy, life sciences and homeland security into larger, more generic pools. Supporters say that would allow projects with the most potential economic benefit — including existing businesses and entrepreneurs — to have a better shot at getting tax incentives.

Tax credits for areas such as brownfield redevelopment and the film industry would be capped.

Business taxes also would be targeted by House Republicans. They would phase out the surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax that raises more than $500 million a year. Another proposal calls for eliminating personal property taxes that cost businesses about $75 million a year on items such as equipment, furniture and computers.

Democrats typically have been critical of proposals that would cut business taxes without identifying specific and immediate ways to replace lost revenue with other tax or revenues increases. Critics have said the state can’t afford to reduce tax revenues when the state already expects a shortfall of $1.6 billion for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Republicans counter that their plan would lower the cost of doing business in Michigan, helping to spark job creation and improve the state’s economy.

“The government is not going to create the jobs,” said Rep. John Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Businesses and individuals who are willing to take a risk are going to be the ones to create jobs.”

House Speaker Andy Dillon, a Democrat from Wayne County’s Redford Township, said in a statement that any proposal aiming to create jobs “deserves serious consideration” in the Legislature.

House Democrats have a 66-43 edge over Republicans.

State House Republicans Want to Cut Michigan’s Business Tax

Michigan Public Radio Network

Laura Weber

LANSING, MI  (MPRN) – Some Republican state lawmakers say the Legislature needs to reduce the Michigan Business Tax as soon as possible to create new jobs.

A taskforce of Republicans in the state House say the business tax is the biggest road block in job creation in Michigan.

State Representative John Proos chairs the taskforce. He says Governor Granholm’s administration risked and lost a lot of political influence by pushing tax increases.

“Businesses and industries throughout Michigan, who have continued to struggle day to day, have said ‘absolutely not. Don’t take more out of our pocket while we’re trying to reinvest in the businesses of tomorrow, the machinery of tomorrow, that will help me land that next contract’,” says Proos.

House Republicans say they plan to push reforms this year that will make Michigan more attractive for businesses.

House GOP: Don’t Let Government Get in the Way of Businesses

Detroit Free Press

Chris Christoff

LANSING – House Republicans unveiled their plan today to create more jobs in Michigan, saying the best way is to get state government out of the way of businesses.

Getting rid of the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) surcharge tops the long list of proposals, as well as eliminating personal property taxes, curbing tax credits to select businesses and speeding up environmental permit approvals for businesses.

“Michigan government is not going to produce future jobs,” said Rep. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the task force that produced the 33-page report.

Proos said the state should do more to cultivate entrepreneurs within its boundaries and less trying to attract large employers from elsewhere by dangling large tax credits for them. He said the state could realize $100 million in revenue by capping business tax credits. He said the task force also recommends limiting total tax credits to filmmakers at $100 million a year.

But the report does not indicate how – or if – House Republicans would replace state tax revenue lost by the suggested tax cuts.

House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer, R-Kewadin, said they will issue their budget proposal after Gov. Jennifer Granholm announces her 2010-11 budget plan on Thursday.

Elsenheimer said he expects Granholm to propose a large tax increase to help erase a projected $1.7-billion deficit next year.

“This is not a time for a tax increase, this is not the time for half measures,” Elsenheimer said.

Other proposals in the GOP task force report include:

• More public accountability by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for the it issues to businesses.

• Allow all businesses to apply for MEDC tax incentives.

• Right to work “zones” within the state.

• Approve more coal-fired power plants

• Crack down on employer unemployment insurance fraud.