Biden Tax Proposal Would Cost Arizona Thousands of Jobs: Report

President Joe Biden’s proposal to increase the United States’ Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI) tax will lead to job losses at 266 public companies in Arizona, according to research from Arizona State University. 

The proposal doubles the GILTI rate to 21% from 10.5%. Ninety-four percent of U.S manufacturers believe the increase will harm their business, according to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)survey on Sept. 9. 

The study by the Seidman Institute at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Economic and Statistics Team (QUEST) said the tax “is specifically targeted at the income earned by foreign affiliates of those companies from intangible assets including intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.” 

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More Than $300M Available to Ohio Small Businesses

Mike DeWine OH Small Businesses

Government money that established grants for small businesses in Ohio has doubled since June and remains available, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

DeWine initially established the grant program in June with $155 million in federal relief dollars. The fund doubled to $310 million at the beginning of July after DeWine signed the state’s new budget, which included the additional money approved by the General Assembly.

The money is meant to help small- and medium-sized businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Virginia Board Might Change, End Confusing COVID-19 Regulations Tuesday

A Virginia board will meet Tuesday to consider changing or ending business regulations it introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, some of which have been confusing business owners.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Industry established permanent regulations on businesses, which could only end or be changed through another meeting by the department’s Safety Health Codes Board. When the board adopted the regulations, it also added a provision that required it to meet within two weeks after the state of emergency for COVID-19 ended. The last day of the emergency declaration was June 30.

The rules were initially in line with Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but after the governor rescinded some of the requirements, the two standards seemed to contradict on certain issues. The governor requires some employees to wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated. The DOLI regulations require those employees to wear masks and make no mention of vaccinations, but later guidance stated vaccinated individuals were not required to wear masks.

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July Ushers in Georgia Income Tax Cut, New Business Incentives

Person writing on paper with pen

New laws that will cut income taxes for Georgians and increase tax incentives for businesses go into effect Thursday with the start of a new fiscal year.

Dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, House Bill 593, raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.

HB 593 created the second tax cut of its kind in three years. It will cut income taxes by more than $600 million collectively over the next five years. The Georgia Legislature doubled the state’s standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Georgia in 2018.

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NOVONIX Plans $160 Million Expansion in Chattanooga, Expected to Add 290 Jobs

At NREL future research should focus on understanding consumer driving and charging behavior and the nuances determining the choice of residential charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). Shown is in the Power Systems Lab in the Energy systems Integration Facility (ESIF)

Tennessee’s role as a center for creating electric vehicles continues to expand.

On Tuesday, NOVONIX announced a $160 million expansion that is expected to create 290 new jobs at its Chattanooga manufacturing facility.

Since March 2017, NOVONIX has made anodes through its PUREgraphite brand. Anodes are a negative electrode used in creating lithium-ion batteries, specifically those used in electric vehicles.

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Michigan Senate Votes to End $300 Weekly Federal Unemployment Benefits

The Michigan Senate voted 19-16 to approve House Bill 4434, which aims to end the state’s participation in boosted $300/week federal unemployment program.

Republicans have argued the benefit hinders economic recovery 15 months after the pandemic started.

Business owners told lawmakers on June 17 they can’t find workers, even after hiking pay, signing bonuses, and flexible hours. Some industries have seen as many as 35% of workers not return post-COVID-19, leaving some gas stations wondering if they’ll get enough gas.

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Economic Development Roundup: Green Hydrogen Fuel Production Plant Slated for Georgia

hydrogen fuel plant

Hydrogen solutions provider Plug Power will invest $84 million to open a green hydrogen fuel production plant in Kingsland, Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said.

The investment is expected to create 24 jobs in Camden County. Plug Power’s GenKey solution combines critical elements to power and fuel and provides services to Amazon, BMW, Southern Company, The Home Depot, Group Carrefour and Walmart.

“With this hydrogen production plant, we are expanding our green hydrogen network to provide zero-emissions fuel to customers in Georgia and across the Southeast,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said. “Investing in Camden County is the right choice to support Plug Power’s continued growth.”

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Ohio Holidays Could Pack More Punch with Fireworks

Fireworks in the night sky

It may not come in time for the Fourth of July, but Ohioans could add some excitement to certain celebrations if a bill passed Wednesday by the Ohio Senate eventually clears the House and gets signed into law.

Senate Bill 113 would allow people to have consumer-grade fireworks in the state and set them off on certain days and holidays.

Ohioans would be allowed to set off fireworks on New Year’s Day; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; Juneteenth; July 3, 4 and 5, along with the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays preceding and following; Labor Day weekend; Diwali; and New Year’s eve. Local communities, however, can eliminate any of those days or ban the practice entirely.

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Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Expand High-Speed Internet; Won’t Tell Price Tag

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued Executive Directive 2021-02, which will establish the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) with the intent of improving costs and access to high-speed internet.

The governor pointed to the ongoing pandemic as the precipitating event that necessitated the order.

“COVID-19 has only confirmed how the lack of high-speed internet access can cause too many Michiganders to struggle in their ability to engage in online learning, to use telemedicine to seek needed healthcare, to search for a new job or to take advantage of all the online resources,” Whitmer said in a statement. “A fully connected Michigan is essential for our state to reach its economic potential in the 21st century global economy.”

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Migration Study Shows Big Cities Continue Losing Population During First Quarter

U-Haul truck

Americans in the first quarter of 2021 continued their 2020 pattern of moving from expensive, densely populated areas to warmer, more tax-affordable states, according to a new study from Updater Technologies.

Updater Technologies is an online platform that allows people to use a centralized hub for moving, including finding a moving company, connecting internet and utility services and updating their address. The company says the inbound and outbound data it uses is more reliable than tabulating mail forwarding forms because it captures fully completed permanent moves in real time. It also indexes cities and states based on population, since using raw numbers would skew toward the most populated areas based on sheer volume.

Out of roughly 300,000 household moves during the first quarter, only 16 states had a greater percentage of inbound moves than outbound: Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Maine.

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Critics Question Gov. Whitmer’s $1.3 Million Spending on Holland Private Sector Jobs

Mission Design and Automation, LLC

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is spending taxpayer money on private business Mission Design and Automation in Holland Charter Township.

Mission will house new large-scale automation projects and space for offices and meeting rooms, but critics argue government funds shouldn’t be used to subsidize private enterprises.

Michigan awarded the private company $400,000 in taxpayer money through the Jobs Ready Michigan Program grant. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $5.3 million and create 109 well-paying new jobs over two years.

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Peloton Picks Ohio for Its First U.S. Factory

Peloton bike

Peloton Interactive announced plans to build its first U.S. factory in Ohio, creating more than 2,000 jobs and investing more than $400 million in the state-of-the-art factory.

The new facility, in Troy Township between Toledo and Bowling Green, will be named Peloton Output Park and will produce Peloton Bike, Bike+ and Peloton Tread starting in 2023. It will employee 2,174 people and generate $138 million in new payroll.

The state approved a 2.301%, 15-year job creation tax credit for the company.

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After National Criticism, Whitmer’s Campaign to Pay for Florida Flight

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer flew on a secret trip to Florida, Michiganders are starting to find answers.

Whitmer’s campaign committee will pay for her March Florida flight to visit her father after she initially attempted to use a nonprofit to charter the flight through a separate company.

The flight sparked an Federal Aviation Agency investigation, because the jet company was not authorized to operate charter flights.

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Expanding Broadband Access in Ohio Becomes Law

Gov. Mike DeWine

Advancing broadband access across Ohio became official when Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that creates a grant program that government and business groups said is critical to economic development.

DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted signed the bill Monday at Middletown’s Amanda Elementary School, along with students, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik.

“Reliable high-speed internet is a necessity for all Ohio industries, including manufacturing,” said Ryan Augsburger, president of the Ohio Manufacturers Association. “The pandemic has illuminated the need for Ohio families and businesses to efficiently access broadband in today’s technology-based economy.”

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Whitmer to Ease Michigan’s COVID-19 Restrictions June 1

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced outdoor capacity limits will disappear after June 1, when indoor capacity limits will increase to 50% under updated public health restrictions.

The state will lift the broad mask and gathering orders July 1, Whitmer said Thursday at Dow Diamond In Midland.

“We look at this as the last moment of this type of orders,” Whitmer said after Michigan has battled COVID-19 for 14 months via a wide range of emergency orders.

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Whitmer, Legislature Reach Deal on COVID-19 Restrictions, Collaborate Spending Billions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

After 14 months of fighting over COVID-19 policy, GOP leaders and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reached an agreement Thursday to negotiate the state budget and stimulus money in return for setting a date to end COVID-19 restrictions.

In return, Whitmer has agreed to withdraw the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) proposed permanent rules and discuss legislative input on epidemic orders.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw Michiganders all over the state step up and come together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in s statement. “Now, Michigan’s task is to unleash the potential of our people, to drive innovation and investment, and create tens of thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for all. Together, we can stay laser-focused on growing the economy and getting Michiganders back to work. Let’s hit the gas.”

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Kemp Extends Suspension of Georgia Gas Tax by a Week

"Sorry out of service" bag covering gas pump

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s temporary suspension of the fuel tax through May 22 as Colonial Pipeline works to become fully operational after a cyberattack.

Kemp issued an executive order Monday that suspended the gas tax, increased weight limits for trucks transporting fuel and prohibited price gouging. The order was set to expire Saturday before Kemp extended it Friday.

“While Colonial Pipeline is now operational, the company has informed the public that it will be a few days until full service is available statewide,” Kemp said in a statement. “This executive order will ensure fuel supply chains have every resource needed to deliver gas quickly and safely, and that Georgians aren’t hit with state gas taxes at the pump during this shortage. I continue to ask Georgians to only purchase the fuel they need for essential travel through the upcoming weekend.”

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BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors Has Funneled Business to Company Run by Father of Her Only Child, Records Show

BLM Co founder Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder and executive director of Black Lives Matter’s national arm, has funneled business to a company led by a man she identified as the father of her only child, a Daily Caller News Foundation review of business records, interviews and social media posts found.

The company, Trap Heals, was formed just days before partnering with Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and later became the charity’s “lead developer of the art & cultural efforts,” according to business records, interviews and an archived version of Trap Heals’ website. Two other activist groups Cullors led paid Trap Heals a collective $238,000 to produce an election night livestream and for consulting services, campaign finance records show.

In numerous public mentions of their work, Cullors and Turner did not disclose that they had a child together. But in at least one instance, Turner said Cullors was directly involved in Trap Heals’ partnership with BLM Global Network.

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More Rural Georgia Counties to Get Internet Upgrade under Private-Sector Deal

Workers installing broadband internet

More rural Georgians are expected to gain access to high-speed internet under a private-sector partnership announced this week by Conexon Connect.

Conexon Connect is collaborating with Middle Georgia EMC to provide broadband access to nearly 5,000 homes and businesses in Dooly, Houston, Macon, Pulaski, Turner, Wilcox and Ben Hill counties.

“Our members have waited long enough for high-speed access to make telemedicine, remote learning, working from home and videoconferencing with loved ones a reality on a daily basis,” Middle Georgia EMC President and CEO Randy Crenshaw said. “Connect is making it possible for our cooperative to deliver this vital service at last. We are ready to show them all the opportunities that open up in a more connected community.”

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Ohio Industry, Business Groups Want Specifics in Biden’s Climate Plan

"There is no planet B" sign

As states, business groups, energy producers and other industry groups show concern over President Joe Biden’s climate plan, Ohio organizations want more specifics and believe cooperation is needed.

Biden has announced a plan that contained few specific measurers but established goals of cutting 2005 emission numbers in half by 2030.

The Ohio Manufacturers Association (OMA) pointed to concerns raised by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which wants more details but also wants a fair plan.

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Ohio Restaurants, Bars Struggle to Find Employees

An empty bar

As sales slowly improve, Ohio’s restaurants and bars now face another issue that threatens ongoing COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts: lack of employees.

Ohio Restaurant Association President and CEO John Barker believes the intentions behind continued federal and state stimulus benefits are good, but a consequence is a lack of available employees as the state eases COVID-19 restrictions and customer traffic increases.

“Unemployment is an issue. There’s no question about it,” Barker said. “The intention by the government, both at the federal and state level, was to take care of people who are displaced and very much in need. It was the right thing to do. The problem we have now is these are looking like they’re going to be extended all the way through the fall. On top of that, people are getting big stimulus checks. And in some cases, they may be making more money staying at home than going back to work. And so, it’s a combination of factors.”

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Michigan’s Bar and Restaurant Job Losses During Pandemic Lockdowns Greater Than Neighboring Great Lakes States

Empty bar in restaurant

A new study published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy concludes states in the Great Lakes region with the strictest lockdown measures also suffered the greatest increases in job losses.

“The Costs of Michigan’s Second Lockdown” was authored by Chris Douglas, the department chair of the UM-Flint Economics department.

All told, Douglas concluded the costs associated with the state’s second lockdown, which began in mid-November, outweigh the benefits it provided. He also said there was no correlation between the lockdown and a reduction in COVID-19 related fatalities.

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Pandemic Resurgence in Michigan Prompts Whitmer to Ask for Two-Week Shutdown of Indoor Dining, School Sports, in-Person Learning

Closed storefront

 A surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan has prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to promote a two-week, voluntary lockdown of indoor dining, suspension of school sports and a full return to remote education.

Although she noted more than five million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, the governor added the pandemic continued to wreak havoc in the state.

For example, Michigan hospitals reported 3,508 COVID-19 patients on Thursday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released data on Thursday that revealed the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 492.1 cases per 100,000 people, the highest positivity case rate in the nation.

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Virginia Businesses Will Benefit from Paycheck Protection Program Extension, Groups Say

Virginia businesses will benefit from the federal government extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, according to associations representing industries.

With bipartisan support, federal lawmakers passed legislation to extend the loan application from March 31 to May 31 and give the Small Business Administration an additional 30 days to process the applications. The legislation is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

The loans allow businesses economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions to borrow money from the federal government. If businesses use the money in accordance with federal guidelines, the loans will be forgiven, meaning that the businesses will not have to pay the money back.

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Ohio House Sends Message to Michigan Governor to Keep Pipeline Open

The Ohio House has sent a message to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, urging her to abandon her plan to force a company to close a pipeline that could threaten Ohio energy supplies and jobs.

Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger filed a lawsuit Nov. 13 in Ingham County Court demanding Enbridge Inc. cease Line 5 operations by May. The easement has been in place since 1953.

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Ohio’s Professional Sports Teams Want Piece of Gaming Action

Ohio’s professional sports teams want a piece of sports gambling in the state when and if it ever comes.

Testifying this week before The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, Cincinnati Reds Chief Financial Officer Doug Healy told lawmakers professional sports organizations recognize the potential benefits of sports gaming.

“It is imperative that Ohio’s sports betting market include access to both mobile and retail sportsbooks for Ohio’s professional teams so that, as the content creators, we share in both the risks and the benefits, just like the casinos,” said Healy, who also said he was speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Indians.

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Ohio AG Files Lawsuit Against Health Care Giant for Overcharging Medicaid

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims in lawsuit filed Thursday a health care giant raised prices for taxpayer-funded care to maximize company profits.

Yost said Ohio sued Centene Corp. in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleging its subsidiary, Buckeye Health Plan, used a web of subcontractors for the provision of pharmacy benefits to be able to misrepresent pharmacy costs. That, Yost said, resulted in millions of dollars of overpayments by the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

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More Than 1,300 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Expire in Shelby County

Around 1,315 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine scheduled to be administered in Shelby County expired as winter weather closed vaccination sites this week, the Shelby County Health Department announced Friday.

Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said the health department was not informed the doses were about to expire. The department contracts with a pharmacy, and the pharmacist is responsible for managing the vaccine and thawing doses in the appropriate timeline for use. The vaccine spoilage was first reported by the Commercial Appeal.

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Tennessee Signed Contract With Consulting Firm While Also Investigating it for Role in Opioid Epidemic

Tennessee entered into a consulting contract with Washington-based McKinsey & Company consulting firm while the state attorney general was investigating the firm for its role in the opioid epidemic, state records show.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery recently announced the state would receive more than $15 million from a multistate lawsuit settlement with McKinsey over the firm’s role in consulting opioid manufacturers on how to best market and profit from opioid drug sales.

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