Governor Rick Snyder defended his budget proposal in front of a group of Detroit business and civic leaders this morning.
The governor wants to get rid of the tax breaks Michigan gives certain industries, and replace them with smaller pots of money that would be issued as grants.
Snyder told the crowd Michigan has been offering tax incentives to certain businesses for years because its tax system is broken. And he says he’s been talking about his plan for fixing it since he was a candidate.
"People kept going around Lansing and saying: 'Well, he did what he said he was going to do.' And it was like that was a surprise."
Snyder says his proposal is more transparent, accountable and honest than what the state does now.
"If someone believes they’re special or wants something special, don’t hide it in the tax code where we might not understand the consequences of what we’re doing, but they should walk in front of the appropriations committee, raise their hand and say I’m special and just write me a check. Be honest about it."
Snyder says the state is already on the hook for $2 billion in tax incentives over the next four years. He says Michigan cannot continue to make commitments like that.