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Wed August 26, 2009
Wixom Ford plant to become green technology hub
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
WIXOM, MI – Ford plans to sell its vacant Wixom plant to manufacturers of solar panel and batteries. Legislative committees in Lansing heard testimony Wednesday from Wixom officials and representatives from the companies.
AUDIO: The green-technology manufacturers need the Legislature to create tax credits in order to receive federal funding as well to set up shop in Wixom. Those refundable tax credits would not be reflected in the budget until 2012.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has already eaten through its available tax credits for this year. Republican state Senator Nancy Cassis is willing to award the MEDC more credits to give to new companies, but not indefinitely.
"We will be increasing or extending for just this year alone," she says. "It's a one time event."
Cassis argues there needs to be more oversight to make sure the MEDC is bringing in new jobs to the state. House committees have given their okay to create the credits for the Wixom manufacturers and say that deal brings the state closer to being a leader in green-technology.