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November 4, 2013

Michigan 14th Best State for Business Taxes

November 4, 2013

  Recently several media organizations released their annual state business rankings.  Rankings for Michigan have still, for the most part, not yet reflected the tax reform enacted by the Administration of governor Rick Snyder.  Here is a new study from the Tax Foundation released in October 2013 that ranks states on being business friendly based on business taxes.  It does confirm that Michigan has become the tax friendly state for business coming in at #14. 

 Tax Foundation Best States for Business Taxes

1

Wyoming

8

New Hampshire

2

South Dakota

9

Utah

3

Nevada

10

Indiana

4

Alaska

11

Texas

5

Florida

12

Oregon

6

Washington

13

Delaware

7

Montana

14

Michigan

 Tax Foundation Worst States for Business Taxes

37

 South Carolina

44

 North Carolina

38

 New Mexico

45

Vermont

39

 Ohio

46

Rhode Island

40

 Iowa

47

Minnesota

41

 Maryland

48

California

42

 Connecticut

49

New Jersey

43

 Wisconsin

50

New York

 The 2014 Index represents the tax climate of each state as of July 1, 2013, the first day of the standard 2014 state fiscal year.

 The 2014 Index represents the tax climate of each state as of July 1, 2013, the first day of the standard 2014 state fiscal year.

Table 1: 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index Ranks and Component Ranks

State Overall Rank Corporate Tax Rank Individual Income Tax Rank Sales Tax Rank Unemployment Insurance Tax Rank Property Tax Rank
Alabama

21

19

22

37

15

10

Alaska

4

28

1

5

29

25

Arizona

22

26

18

49

1

6

Arkansas

35

39

26

42

11

19

California

48

31

50

41

16

14

Colorado

19

21

15

44

28

22

Connecticut

42

35

33

32

23

49

Delaware

13

50

28

2

2

13

Florida

5

13

1

18

6

16

Georgia

32

8

41

12

24

31

Hawaii

30

4

35

16

38

12

Idaho

18

18

23

23

47

3

Illinois

31

47

11

33

43

44

Indiana

10

24

10

11

13

5

Iowa

40

49

32

24

36

38

Kansas

20

37

17

31

12

29

Kentucky

27

27

29

10

48

17

Louisiana

33

17

25

50

4

24

Maine

29

45

21

9

33

40

Maryland

41

15

46

8

40

41

Massachusetts

25

34

13

17

49

47

Michigan

14

9

14

7

44

28

Minnesota

47

44

47

35

41

33

Mississippi

17

11

20

28

5

32

Missouri

16

7

27

26

9

7

Montana

7

16

19

3

21

8

Nebraska

34

36

30

29

8

39

Nevada

3

1

1

40

42

9

New Hampshire

8

48

9

1

46

42

New Jersey

49

41

48

46

32

50

New Mexico

38

40

34

45

17

1

New York

50

25

49

38

45

45

North Carolina

44

29

42

47

7

30

North Dakota

28

22

38

21

19

2

Ohio

39

23

44

30

10

20

Oklahoma

36

12

39

39

3

11

Oregon

12

32

31

4

34

15

Pennsylvania

24

46

16

19

39

43

Rhode Island

46

43

36

27

50

46

South Carolina

37

10

40

22

30

21

South Dakota

2

1

1

34

37

18

Tennessee

15

14

8

43

27

37

Texas

11

38

7

36

14

35

Utah

9

5

12

20

18

4

Vermont

45

42

45

13

22

48

Virginia

26

6

37

6

35

26

Washington

6

30

1

48

20

23

West Virginia

23

20

24

25

26

27

Wisconsin

43

33

43

15

25

36

Wyoming

1

1

1

14

31

34

Dist. of Columbia

44

35

34

41

26

44

Note:  A rank of 1 is more favorable for business than a rank of 50.  Rankings do not average to total.  States without a tax rank equally as 1.  D.C. score and rank to not affect other states.  Report shows tax systems as of July 1, 2013 (the beginning of Fiscal Year 2014).



Source:  Tax Foundation

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Crain's Ranks MSU the #1 Michigan University for Innovation

August 21, 2013

In a just released report commissioned by Crain's Detroit Business Michigan State University was ranked as the #1 Michigan university for innovation and #15 out of Michigan's 100 most innovative companies.  U of M ranked #2/38 and Wayne State finished #3/75 respectively in university/company rankings on the Crain's list of Michigan's 100 Most Innovative Companies

The Report was not specific to colleges and universities, but rather and all inclusive ranking of all Michigan business, scientific, engineering, and educational enterprises.  Only the three colleges mentioned mad it into the top 100 rankings.

 

_____________________________________________________________

Crain's

This story is from an interview with Chad Holcom, a reporter for the Crain's Detroit Business.

There's been a lot of talking the years after the Great Recession about revitalizing Michigan - trying to get away from the 20th century economic model - trying to move the state, its residents, and its jobs - to the 21st century and beyond.  And it's fair to say that many would agree that "innovation" is a vital part of moving the state's economy forward.

Crain's Detroit business has released a list of the 100 more innovative companies in Michigan.  They're calling it the Michigan Innovative Index.

"People and companies innovate and apply for patents for their innovations all the time, but they don't always necessarily have a market leading innovation," said Chad Holcom, a reporter for Crain's Detroit.  "So we kind of were curious to know what companies are sort of breaking new ground."

Crain's hired Ocean Tomo, a patent evaluation firm based in Chicago, to help them evaluate Michigan companies that have patents issued each year and find trends.

Not only is the total number of Michigan patents on the rise, but the quality of Michigan patents has also increased.

"The value of the company is the value of the patent," said Holcom.  "[Patents] are usually evaluated on a number of things.  How much that patent is unique versed building on previous inventions, there will be references within the patent application to other kinds of intellectual property that it's standing on or building on, and, more importantly, how much other subsequent applications now have to do the same."

Crain's expected that most of the most innovative business would be auto supply chain companies and companies in university research corridors, but there were also several start-ups that were issuing high-value patents as well.  Topping the list was Gas Technologies LLC, located in Walloon Lake.  The company has only issued 3 patents, but received a quality index of 156.57 relative to a median score of 100. 

According to Holcom, this list is useful for evaluating the future of Michigan's economy.

"The most telling thing a list or an evaluation project like this can do for us is tell us what companies are likely to be suiting buyers or courting buyers in the coming months or years, things that might become attractive investments for private quality or venture capital firms, companies that look like they might have the most growth potential."

Here is the entire Crain's list of Michigan's 100 Most Innovative Companies

Crain's

Special report: The Michigan Innovation Index

  Michigan companies are innovating in a big way, particularly in nonautomotive segments.

Take Gas Technologies LLC, ranked No. 1 on the Crain’s list for its innovations centered on gas-to-liquid technology that creates methanol. Because the Walloon Lake company’s patents are potential game-changers, its patents rank high on the value meter with a score of 156.57 (anything over 100 is considered good). IP valuation services firm Ocean Tomo LLC conducted the Michigan Innovation Index research exclusively for Crain’s Detroit Business.

Life sciences is another hot spot in the Crain’s report, with companies like Ann Arbor-based Accuri Cytometers earning a fourth-place ranking for patents related to a device to automate cell analysis.

The following list details the top 100 Michigan companies, from automotive suppliers to defense contractors. All told, high-value patents from Michigan corporations numbered more than 3,874 last year, an important part of the more than 250,000 patents issued in 2012 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Chad Halcom’s story in this package provides additional analysis on statewide brainpower at work.

In addition, Crain’s editors and reporters selected the following companies to showcase the breadth and depth of innovation connected to Southeast Michigan:

____________________________________________________________

Ocean Tomo LLC assigns patents granted a value relative to a median score of 100, based on analysis of about 50 factors including references to past patents, the number of citations and references made in subsequent patents, presence or absence of limiting claim language and likelihood a company will seek to renew or defend the patent it obtained.

Company City Patents granted Quality index
1. Gas Technologies LLC Walloon Lake 3 156.57
2. HandyLab Inc.* Ann Arbor 12 151.6
3. Donnelly Corp. Holland 55 147.97
4. Accuri Cytometers Inc. Ann Arbor 7 142.34
5. Roush Life Sciences LLC Livonia 4 139.73
6. EcoMotors International Allen Park 3 137.6
7. eLumigen LLC Auburn Hills 4 133.78
8. Ovonyx Inc. Rochester Hills 22 130.6
9. Clarity Technologies Inc. Troy 5 129.26
10. Imra America Inc. Ann Arbor 24 128.8
11. ANXeBusiness Corp. Southfield 3 126.17
12. Magna Mirrors of America Inc. Holland 14 125.66
13. Michigan Aerospace Corp. Ann Arbor 3 125.4
14. Fleetwood Group Inc. Holland 3 124.67
15. Michigan State University East Lansing 28 122.24
16. Twin Bay Medical Inc. Williamsburg 3 119.77
17. Stryker Corp. Kalamazoo 50 119.05
18. Numatics Inc. Novi 4 118.05
19. NeuroNexus Technologies Inc. Ann Arbor 3 117.67
20. Adaptive Materials Inc. Ann Arbor 4 117.37
21. Magna Electronics Inc. Rochester Hills 6 117.16
22. Fraunhofer USA Inc. Plymouth 5 115.96
23. Gentex Corp. Zeeland 23 115.88
24. Mac Valves Inc. Wixom 3 115.67
25. Access Business Group International LLC Ada 28 114.84
26. Whirlpool Corp. Benton Harbor 135 113.41
27. Trijicon Inc. Wixom 5 113
28. Guardian Industries Corp. Auburn Hills 51 112.92
29. Ovshinsky Innovation LLC Bloomfield Hills 5 112.38
30. JAC Products Inc. Saline 4 112.25
31. Leco Corp. St. Joseph 4 111.88
32. Integrated Sensing Systems Inc. Ypsilanti 3 111.23
33. Compuware Corp. Detroit 9 111.02
34. Durr Systems Inc. Plymouth 4 110.35
35. Fluid Equipment Development Co. LLC Monroe 3 110
36. Continental Automotive Systems Inc. Auburn Hills 22 109.9
37. Ann Williams Group LLC Bloomfield Hills 3 109.7
38. University of Michigan Ann Arbor 110 108.88
39. Andersen & Associates Wixom 3 107.73
40. Sakti3 Inc. Ann Arbor 4 107.48
41. Dearborn Group Inc. Farmington Hills 3 107.3
42. Inrad Inc. Kentwood 3 106.3
43. Pioneer Surgical Technology Inc. Marquette 16 106.26
44. Perceptron Inc. Plymouth 6 106.18
45. Volkswagen of America Inc. Northville 3 105.77
46. MI4 Spine LLC Bloomfield Hills 5 105.74
47. Gentherm Inc. Northville 7 105.66
48. Whitesell International Corp. Taylor 6 104.82
49. Dow Global Technologies LLC Midland 180 104.3
50. Burke E. Porter Machinery Co. Grand Rapids 3 103.93
51. TI Group Automotive Systems LLC Warren 3 103.77
52. SBR Investments Co. LLC Reed City 3 103.07
53. Bradford Co. Holland 7 102.77
54. Herman Miller Inc. Zeeland 8 102.29
55. Ford Global Technologies LLC Dearborn 620 101.92
56. Mark IV Systemes Moteurs U.S.A. Inc. Rochester Hills 3 101.87
57. Viking Corp. Hastings 7 101.7
58. General Motors LLC Detroit 45 101.55
59. Jervis B. Webb Co. Farmington Hills 4 101.25
60. GE Aviation Systems LLC Grand Rapids 10 101.05
61. Linares Medical Devices LLC Auburn Hills 10 100.94
62. Norgren Automation Solutions LLC Saline 4 100.73
63. Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corp. Ann Arbor 3 100.67
64. VisteonGlobal Technologies Inc. Dearborn 14 100.66
65. General Motors Corp. Detroit 15 99.96
66. Warrior Sports Inc. Warren 11 99.9
67. Plastipak Packaging Inc. Plymouth 4 99.5
68. Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership Plymouth 7 98.77
69. American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. Detroit 24 98.62
70. Bissell Homecare Inc. Grand Rapids 14 97.45
71. Shape Corp. Grand Haven 7 97.44
72. GM Global Technology Operations LLC Detroit 1,232 97.34
73. Dematic Corp. Grand Rapids 3 97.2
74. Ranir LLC Grand Rapids 4 97.05
75. Wayne State University Detroit 13 96.81
76. Ford Motor Co. Dearborn 34 96.66
77. Avon Protection Systems Inc. Cadillac 4 96.25
78. Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics Technology LLC Midland 9 96.24
79. ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. Troy 6 95.88
80. Oasis Advanced Engineering Inc. Auburn Hills 3 95.73
81. Cequent Towing Products Inc. Plymouth 3 95.6
82. Federal-Mogul Ignition Co. Southfield 7 95
83. Denso International America Inc. Southfield 21 94.49
84. Federal-Mogul Corp. Southfield 10 93.92
85. Johnson Controls Technology Co. Plymouth 69 93.74
86. International Automotive Components Group North America Inc. Dearborn 5 93.48
87. NLB Corp. Wixom 3 93.43
88. Steering Solutions IP Holding Corp. Saginaw 15 93.17
89. Tapco International Corp. Wixom 4 93.1
90. Magna Powertrain Inc. Troy 26 92.82
91. Federal-Mogul World Wide Inc. Southfield 17 92.82
92. Oria Collapsibles LLC Auburn Hills 4 92.63
93. Zephyros Inc. Romeo 8 92.61
94. ilumisys Inc. Troy 9 92.53
95. TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc. Washington 6 92.35
96. Dow Technology Investments LLC Midland 6 92.23
97. Axletech International IP Holding LLC Troy 6 92.18
98. X-Rite Inc. Grand Rapids 4 92.07
99. Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. Novi 4 91.67
100. Delphi Technologies Inc Troy 125  91.64
 *Acquired and relocated by Becton Dickinson & Co.      

_____________________________________________________________





Economic Development • Job Creation • New Investement

July News

MICHIGAN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK OF CNBC's TOP STATES FOR BUSINESS - AT LEAST FOR NOW

Business Tax Reform, Structural Budget Deficit Fixes Not Reflected in Data Yet

CNBC’s annual ranking of America’s Top States for Business sees a new champion: South Dakota. With the highest-ever score in the ranking’s history, South Dakota has gone from quiet and steady success to stealing the national spotlight. The state has never before been named the best state in the ranking, but has rarely been outside of the Top 10.

 CNBC made the announcement July 10, attributing South Dakota’s strong economy, friendly business climate, great quality of life, and low cost of doing business as reasons that the state jumped six spots to #1 in one short year. 

 

Overall Ranking

▼Overall Rank

▼State

▼Cost of Doing Business

▼Economy

▼Infrastructure

▼Workforce

▼Quality of Life

▼Technology & Innovation

▼Business Friendliness

▼Education

▼Cost of Living

▼Access to Capital

1 South Dakota 1 6 19 11 7 48 2 30 26 39
2 Texas 35 1 1 11 41 2 20 10 9 3
3 North Dakota 12 2 2 8 5 46 6 36 30 29
4 Nebraska 10 4 16 23 4 36 3 30 5 39
5 Utah 21 10 21 19 21 23 4 39 11 7
5 Virginia 38 10 21 6 18 12 6 8 20 13
7 Colorado 37 7 23 10 15 8 17 15 32 11
8 Georgia 28 19 18 1 32 17 14 8 14 5
9 Wyoming 9 15 9 16 11 47 8 20 27 39
10 Idaho 7 31 20 14 16 37 5 33 3 39
11 Iowa 13 5 28 40 14 30 9 15 16 31
12 North Carolina 32 13 31 3 30 10 18 15 20 15
13 Tennessee 14 9 2 5 49 25 18 45 2 27
14 Kansas 27 21 4 17 24 29 12 15 7 35
15 Minnesota 39 10 8 32 3 18 15 23 34 17
16 Massachusetts 47 3 40 28 13 7 21 7 43 1
17 Oregon 36 16 13 39 8 14 25 26 38 11
18 Indiana 26 32 5 27 39 24 10 13 6 25
19 Montana 5 19 12 34 12 40 43 23 30 39
20 Arizona 31 43 10 2 29 19 16 49 35 33
21 Washington 44 24 31 24 10 4 23 28 36 7
22 Wisconsin 28 34 17 40 19 19 24 13 28 21
23 South Carolina 8 35 15 9 41 26 34 36 19 19
24 Arkansas 4 18 34 7 40 38 43 15 7 37
25 Oklahoma 2 24 25 25 45 35 28 48 1 37
26 Missouri 19 17 5 48 47 22 29 20 11 23
27 New Hampshire 18 43 45 33 9 27 13 2 40 15
28 Ohio 23 22 11 47 44 16 33 12 14 17
29 Michigan 33 26 25 15 43 12 32 32 18 23
30 Florida 40 38 29 4 28 11 35 28 29 27
31 Delaware 24 27 39 30 34 39 1 34 37 14
32 Vermont 22 8 48 49 2 40 31 11 41 31
33 Alabama 6 40 27 25 45 34 37 36 13 39
33 New Mexico 15 30 23 38 26 32 47 46 25 29
35 New York 49 14 42 45 22 1 30 2 47 3
36 Kentucky 17 42 14 31 38 31 37 43 3 39
37 Illinois 44 45 5 29 30 5 36 22 23 25
38 Maine 16 46 44 43 5 32 27 27 39 33
39 Pennsylvania 44 29 33 44 33 5 41 6 33 5
40 Maryland 41 33 46 20 25 9 45 2 42 9
41 Mississippi 3 47 36 18 37 44 49 47 10 39
42 New Jersey 42 48 43 21 23 15 41 1 46 9
43 Louisiana 10 35 41 22 50 28 39 40 20 35
44 Alaska 25 23 38 36 35 50 10 35 49 39
45 Connecticut 43 39 49 37 17 21 26 5 48 19
46 Nevada 30 50 30 13 47 42 22 50 17 39
47 California 50 35 34 34 27 2 48 43 45 1
48 West Virginia 19 27 37 50 36 49 50 42 24 39
49 Rhode Island 34 49 47 42 20 42 46 23 44 21
50 Hawaii 48 41 50 45 1 45 40 40 50 39

Based on the priorities of business leaders, “Cost of Doing Business” was at the top of this year’s criteria for the ranking, and carried more weight than any other category. And according to CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn, who reported on this year’s ranking, “no state delivers on low business costs the way South Dakota does.” South Dakota not only offers one of the nation’s lowest tax burdens—no individual or corporate income taxes and low sales and property taxes—but it also has among the nation’s lowest utility rates, wages, and commercial rent costs.







Michigan at # 29 joined most Midwest states mid pack although Iowa at #11 almost broke the top 10 and #15 Minnesota, #18 Indiana, and #22 Wisconsin all made the top 25.







Although CNBC’s numbers are probably an accurate reflection of business criteria today, they do not reflect the changes made by Gov. Rick Snyder and his team over the past two and a half years. It is still too early for the effects of Michigan business tax reform and the elimination of the structural deficit in the budget to be digested by business planners, site selection consultants, and economists because the results lag the earlier actions – they are just now starting to show up. Even the Right-To-Work Legislation which was enacted at the end of 2012 has yet to be taken into consideration on how it might affect Michigan’s business climate.







One thing is sure, Michigan’s fortunes should rise when the CNBC rankings are published next summer.

U.S. Financial Markets

Americans are feeling somewhat more financially comfortable today than they did just 12 months ago.  Both home sales and home prices are up, although the recent spike in mortgage rates may act as a damper if higher rates become a trend instead of a speed bump.  Retail sales increased 0.4 percent in June but strip out automobiles, gasoline and building materials and the actual retail growth was 0.1 percent.   Car and truck sales are blowing the doors off auto dealerships which is a good thing as long as there isn't a shift in momentum.  Just for the record, the Federal Reserve says that retails sales account for roughly 30 percent of consumer spending.  Consumer spending gin turn accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

It seems that the real steady Eddie for the last 12 months has been Wall Street. As this July 12 U.S Treasury chart shows, the boys and girls in lower Manhattan have been on a steady 12-month ride that seems to have nowhere to go but up. We of course have seen this before many times depending on your age and appetite for misery.

 

% Change

Y-T-D

1-Yr CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+18.01

+22.99

+7.86

+6.96

NASDAQ

+19.23

+25.61

+12.16

+10.76

S&P 500

+17.81

+25.88

+7.11

+6.83

REAL YIELD

7/12 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.55%

.058%

1.48%

1.88%

But remarkably, this has taken place during a period where we have seen gasoline at $4.29 per gallon in the Lansing region; an Arab Spring that has extended into summer, winter, fall, and then several more springtimes; continuing economic flatulence in the European Union; and now China’s GDP growth has slowed to 7.5% this year – the slowest growth rate since 1990. Economists expect lower Chinese growth to continue making this the new normal and not an aberration.

If our economy is being fueled by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing, it may be sometime before we will see what the real underlying U.S. economy looks like since he said last week that QE2 will remain in place for quite some time.

Sparrow Clinton breaks ground on new Emergency Department

Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns plans to transform the delivery of health care in Clinton County by building a brand new $5.4 million, state-of-the-art Emergency Services Department. Community leaders and donors joined Sparrow administrators and caregivers July 16 for a special groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off the first phase of construction.

“Each year, more than 14,000 people seek emergency care at Sparrow Clinton Hospital,” said Sparrow Clinton Hospital President & CEO Ed Bruun. “Our existing facility was built to manage care for 8,000 visits. For today’s standards, three treatment rooms and three curtained bays are simply not enough to ensure patient privacy and efficient patient flow.”

At 9,935 square feet, the new emergency services facility is three times the size of the existing department. Design highlights include:

  • Eight private treatment rooms:  one of which is a decontamination/isolation room and two of which are designed to meet the needs of children.
  • Two Trauma rooms for treatment of life threatening emergencies.
  • A spacious, comfortable Lobby expressly for emergency patients.
  • A centralized Patient Care Coordination Center.
  • A triage room.
  • An observation room with reclining chairs and televisions.
  • A family consultation room for private conversations with physicians.
  • A separate entrance with covered drive-through for dropping off and picking up patients.
  • A separate, covered ambulance entrance.
  • And, a private decontamination entrance for health situations involving hazardous materials.

“Building this new, first-class emergency facility will provide a readily accessible, technologically advanced healing environment for our community and give our patients and their families the very best in local health care when care is most needed,” added Bruun.

Construction of the new state-of-the-art department is slated to begin in August 2013. Sparrow Clinton Hospital anticipates completion of the build in June 2014.

The new Emergency Services facility will be located on the southwest corner of the hospital in the area presently housing the mobile MRI and a secondary parking lot next to the hospital pharmacy and physician practices in the Medical Professional Building. The MRI will be relocated prior to site preparation and pharmacy patrons and Sparrow St. Johns Professional Associates patients will be redirected to parking by the main entrance of the Medical Professional Building.

The hospital launched a “quiet” fundraising campaign in December 2012. As a result, more than $1 million has already been pledged by corporations, businesses, private donors and hospital caregivers to complete the build. The campaign has set a goal of $1.3 million in total community fundraising.

For more information about the project or to make a donation, please call the Sparrow Clinton Hospital Foundation at 989-227-3396.

12800 Escanaba Drive, Suite D • DeWitt, MI 48820 • (517) 669-1345

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U.S. Department of Education Says Michigan Colleges More Affordable Than Other States

July 8, 2013

Michigan’s public universities are sure to love this ranking system: a federal Department of Education list shows the state’s universities aren’t squeezing students’ wallets as much as other schools across the nation.

The rankings, found through the government’s College Affordability and Transparency Center, rate every institution in the nation on tuition cost and net price. This is the third year for the report.

Michigan finished near the bottom of the pack when looking at how much the net price of college increased from 2009-10 to 2010-11, the years covered by the new report. Net price takes the sticker price of college and then deducts the average financial aid award. College administrators and financial aid experts say parents and students should pay more attention to that number than to the overall tuition cost.

From 2009-10 to 2010-11, the net price at Michigan’s public universities dropped 1.9%. Last year’s report showed Michigan with a 2.2% average increase in net price. Michigan was one of nine states with a decline in the new report. The biggest decline was in Arkansas, where the net price dropped 11.2%.

Administrators at Michigan’s universities said the drop reflects more money being pumped into financial aid, despite annual increases in tuition.

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor had the biggest net price drop in the state, 16.7% — from $16,888 to $14,074. Oakland University had the biggest increase, 18.1% — from $12,224 to $14,440.

The national average for net price increased 5.1%. North Dakota had the biggest climb of any state, up 31.6%.

Tara Wilson, 58, of Southfield has one daughter who graduated from Central Michigan University in 2012 and another at Western Michigan University. She said the numbers surprise her.

“When you are struggling to pay the bills that come from these places, it’s hard to think of them as being affordable,” she said. “They still cost a lot of money.”

Michigan Technological University had the highest ranking in the state in both tuition and net price, at 42nd and 79th in the nation, respectively.

John Lehman, MTU’s assistant vice president for enrollment services, cited 2013 rankings by Pay Scale showing that MTU’s graduates rank 18th nationwide among those at 437 public universities for return on investment from their degree and in the top 10 for return on investment among Midwest schools. The report listed the typical starting salary of a Michigan Tech graduate at $56,000, and the 30-year net return on investment at $999,300, Lehman noted.

“This suggests that the net price is well worth the investment,” he said in an e-mail. “And finally as you well know, over the past decade, state appropriations to Michigan Tech have dropped 24%. That drives up tuition for students.”

In net price, Western Michigan University came in at 97th, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor came in at 114th, Michigan State University at 232nd and Wayne State University at 374th. A total of more than 650 four-year universities were listed.

“We believe this affordability ranking underscores the point that U-M has been very aggressive about boosting financial aid, which drives down the net cost of attendance for students with financial need,” U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said in an e-mailed statement.

“These new scores show that U-M has been addressing — and making significant headway — toward making college more affordable for many of our students. U-M’s tuition is lower than many of our peers.”

__________________________

Michigan Ranks 4th Nationwide in Major Corporate Facilities and Expansions

March 6, 2013

 

By Melissa Anders | manders@mlive.com MLive.com



on March 05, 2013 at 2:05 PM

LANSING, MI - Michigan ranked 4th in the country for the number of new major corporate facilities and expansions last year, according to the Site Selection magazine's annual Governor's Cup.

The report tallies the number of "new corporate facility projects with significant impact."  Site Selection is a global publication that's distributed to business executives responsible for location and facility planning. 

Michigan had 337 qualified projects last year, up from just 85 in 2011. The figures do not include retail, government, school or hospital projects. New buildings and expansions must meet at least one of these criteria: invest $1 million or more, create at least 50 new jobs or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.

 

Texas won the Governor’s Cup and topped the list with 761 projects, followed by Ohio with 491, Pennsylvania with 430, Michigan with 337 and Illinois with 322. (Read more and see the full top 10 here.) About half of Michigan’s projects were expanded manufacturing facilities.







“Once again, the nation is taking notice of the bold reforms now driving Michigan forward. More companies are choosing to grow their futures in Michigan and that is reinforcing our well-earned reputation as America’s comeback state,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. “The best way to boost our state’s economy and improve the quality of life for all is to create an environment that encourages business investment, job growth and innovation.”

 

In his first two years in office, Snyder redesigned incentive programs, approved regulatory reforms, and eliminated the Michigan Business Tax as well as the Personal Property Tax for certain businesses.  He also signed legislation making Michigan the 24th right-to-work state, a controversial move criticized by Democrats and labor unions but hailed by site selectors and Republicans as a way to put Michigan on the map for business locations and expansions.

"(Right-to-work) will certainly keep Michigan on lists of states that are not under consideration.  It is important to some companies, perhaps not all," said Mark Arend, Site Selection editor-in-chief.

Arend said he would not go as far to say the new law would directly result in enough actual projects to affect rankings.

Michigan last placed in the top 10 in 2010, when it ranked 7th.  There also was a stretch in the 1990s when Michigan seemed to win every year for several years, Arend said.

"it's good to see Michigan winning the investment that it is," he said.

Snyder pointed to several major projects that began or were announced last year, including General Moters Co.'s innovation center in Warren, an Expansion at Magna Sealing and Glass Systems in Holland Township, Hark Orchids' new facility near Comstock Township and Dart Container's headquarters expansion near Mason.

Five Michigan metropolitan areas were among the best in their population categories for new and expanded facilities, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Jackson and Saginaw.

The ranking sends a message of Michigan's "highly competitive business climate," said Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

 

"In the last two years, we have greatly improved Michigan's business climate and infrastructure, making it easier for businesses to find new paths to prosperity, and our changes are paying off," he said in a statement.

The MEDC recently came under fire for touting right-to-work and other business climate changed in advertisements using the Pure Michigan logo.  They appeared in the Wall Street Journal, site selection magazines and other business publications.

The move angered some Pure Michigan fans who said it wrongly politicized what has been a very popular tourism campaign, and marketing experts questioned whether the move hurt Pure Michigan's brand image.

 

Democrats criticized the MEDC and Snyder, who later said the issue was divisive enough that it shouldn't have been front-and-center on the ad.

An MEDC official told lawmakers last month that further advertising with a combination of Pure Michigan and right to work was on hold while the issue is evaluated.

Email Melissa Anders at manders@mlive.com. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter: @MelissaDAnders. Download the MLive app for iPhone and Android.

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Michigan Becomes a Right-to-Work State

March 6, 2013

Michigan Advances Pro-Business Image

By Rachel Duran Editor in Chief for Business Xpansion Journal

27 Feb, 2013 – To say that Michigan’s economic development officials have turned on its head the less than favorable perception of the state’s business climate would be an understatement. A state well-known for a large presence of labor unions surprised the business world late last year when Michigan became a right-to-work state, the 24th state to have such laws. Employees in both the private and public sectors can now choose whether they want to be a member of a labor union. The law will go into effect April 1.

A contributing factor toward the move to right-to-work was a failed statewide referendum, which would have changed the state’s constitution regarding unionization. The proposal failed dramatically, which opened the door to approaching the right-to-work initiative. Going forward, as union contracts expire, new agreements will fall under the new legislation.

“At the end of our most recent legislative session, several key bills were passed that have a very direct impact on our business competitiveness, the most important of which was the change to our personal property tax,” says Michael Finney, president and CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corp.  “We have begun a process to phase out this tax. Existing businesses are very excited about it; they worked with us on developing the structure.”

When it comes to evaluating Michigan’s regulatory climate, the Office of Regulatory Reinvention has been responsible for changing or eliminating regulations that do not contribute to the state’s long-term success. Finney says nearly 700 regulations have been eliminated.

“In addition, we refinanced our unemployment compensation and reduced unemployment costs in excess of $1 billion for employers,” Finney notes. “With all of these initiatives, combined with the other important attributes the state of Michigan has such as a great workforce, great quality of living and so forth, we think it makes a compelling case for businesses.”

Industries and Innovations

Michigan continues to be a leader in making things, using new and better techniques to manufacture products. “Advanced manufacturing is an important part of the landscape here and will contribute to our state’s prosperity in manufacturing,” Finney says.

Michigan is also home to a thriving life sciences industry. “The state features strong research institutions, including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is the largest public institution in the United States in terms of spending, at $1.3 billion annually,” Finney says. “We have a vibrant entrepreneurial community in the life sciences as well.”

In regard to the state’s overall education system, Michigan is home to 40 private universities and 15 public universities. What’s more, the state houses more than 25 business incubators, specializing in everything from food processing to biotech to battery storage.

Down to Business

Starting in 2014, Michigan will begin phasing out its personal property tax for some commercial or industrial property and eligible manufacturing personal property. The phase-out is contingent upon voter approval in the August 2014 election.

In 2011, Michigan became the home to the first U.S. Patent and Trademark Office satellite office due to the large number of patents generated in the state.

Michigan’s 6 percent corporate income tax is among the lowest in the nation and has slashed business costs by 83 percent.

Four of Michigan’s nine international border crossings with Canada are on interstate highways, connecting companies with important Canadian markets through the Trans-Canada Highway and National Highway System.

Michigan is the nation’s fourth-largest high-tech workforce with more than 87,000 engineers, 70,000 R&D professionals and 75,000 skilled tradespeople.

Outdoors and Recreation

Michigan is home to two peninsulas surrounded by 3,251 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more shoreline than any other state but Alaska. There are also numerous walkable and bicycle-friendly communities in Michigan, including metropolitan areas and communities along the coast. Michigan is also home to a thriving food and beverage culture, complete with vineyards, microbreweries and nationally recognized restaurants.

Illustration by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at Free Digital Photos.net

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Capital Region International Airport Lands New Cargo Shipping Company

March 6, 2013

DEWITT TWP. — A global company that specializes in forwarding cargo through airports plans to open an office at Capital Region International Airport.

EMO Trans Customized Global Logistics, which bases its U.S. operations in Freeport,  N.Y., is expected to move into the DeWitt Township airport’s new, 48,000-square-foot air cargo terminal by March 1, the airport said in a statement.

The company started shipping freight in Germany in the 1960s, according to its website, and since has expanded worldwide.  EMO Trans has more than 250 sites across the globe, including a facility near Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, a statement said  

The airport recently opened the $4 million cargo terminal south of the main passenger terminal as a warehouse for international trade, part of a larger effort to increase imports and exports through the Lansing region and to spur new private development near the airport. EMO Trans is the second company to open an office there. The first, Executive Fan, sells tape licensed with college logos.

Brent Case, the airport’s foreign trade zone and global logistics development director, said cargo will be able to be routed to Lansing, instead of through Detroit or Chicago, which could make it easier for local companies to ship worldwide.