In 2015, a global corporation called Switch Inc., was given a multi-million dollar state tax exemption to build a data center in Grand Rapids. Now, some GOP lawmakers want to exempt that same corporation from local property taxes – for no apparent reason. This sure looks like textbook greed, corruption, and not the sort of thing we want to support in the tax code. It would even apply retroactively, requiring affected municipalities to return funds! Without this property tax, assuming no other changes, governments and schools in West Michigan will likely lose hundreds of thousands in much-needed revenue.[3]

SB455 is expected to have a hearing in the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism this week and could move to floor vote in days, so calls are urgently needed.

Please call these committee members:

Representative Luke Meerman*
(517) 373-1830
Representative John Reilly**
(517) 373-1798

*Luke Meerman of district 88 (Cooperville) is seen as the swing vote within the committee. [4]
**John Reilly, of District 46, is seen as a likely no. [5]

Example script for calling representatives
Hi, I’m ________, and I’d like to urge you to vote against SB455. This bill looks like really transparent greed. Giving the Switch data center corporation another tax break, a refund for previous years’ taxes, and taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual local government and school funding is not a good cause. Thank you.

Other Republican representatives on the committee to call:

Representative Steve Marino
Committee Chair, 24th District
(517) 373-0113
Representative Pauline Wendzel
Majority Vice-Chair, 79th District
(517) 373-1403
Representative Andrea Schroeder
43rd District
(517) 373-0615
Representative Rodney Wakeman
94th District
(517) 373-0837

These Democrats are also on the committee & likely to vote no. Call to encourage them.

Representative Sara Cambensy
Minority Vice-Chair, 109th District
(517) 373-0498
Representative Darrin Camilleri
23rd District
(517) 373-0855
Representative Kara Hope
67th District
(517) 373-0587
Representative Mari Manoogian
40th District
(517) 373-8670
Representative Isaac Robinson
4th District
(517) 373-1008

References

[0] http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(nwr5t4jv5j0xgv0nvc4krntv))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2019-SB-0455
[1] http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billengrossed/Senate/htm/2019-SEBS-0455.htm
[2] https://www.switch.com/grand-rapids
“LOW OR NO TAXES”, “No business personal property tax for Switch clients”
[3] http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billanalysis/Senate/htm/2019-SFA-0455-F.htm
[4] http://house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic/2012DistrictMaps/088.pdf
[5] http://house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic/2012DistrictMaps/046.pdf