Institute Questions GlobalWatt's 2009 Tax Deal 9-29-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Institute Questions GlobalWatt's 2009 Tax Deal 9-29-2010

WNEM TV5 is learning of an ongoing investigation of one Mid-Michigan business by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
The institute is looking into an alleged preferential tax deal that was given to GlobalWatt Inc. The tax breaks would apply to a Saginaw plant that formerly housed an auto supplier at 1200 Leon Scott Road.
The California-based solar panel manufacturer may have "misrepresented information that was critical" on its application to receive special help from the state, according to Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Archive Video: Tax Credits Lure In Solar Panel Plant, Jobs
GlobalWatt received Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax credits including a 200 percent high-technology employment tax credit for three years, a 100 percent employment tax credit for four years, both for up to 500 new employees and a $10 million large brownfield Michigan business tax credit, records show.
In all the, the incentives total $42 million over the next five to seven years.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy report says the state's MEGA stipulates that "misrepresentation in the application" could result in the loss of tax credit opportunities. Violations can be punished by up to five years in prison or a $5,000 fine or both.
The company chose to make the $177 million investment in Saginaw after considering a different location in Corpus Christi, Texas.
GlobalWatt denied the allegations by the Mackinac Center, saying the report is a "gross misrepresentation" of the facts.
"Our company is on track with its growth plans. We remain focused on building our business and leading the revitalization of the Saginaw area by providing new employment opportunities," a news release issued by GlobalWatt said.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation also issued a written statement -- that in part read, "We have seen no evidence to substantiate the allegations being made against GlobalWatt. This appears to stem from a dispute between an employee and his former employer, a company we have recruited to locate and create jobs in Michigan."
Click the video below to watch WNEM TV5's full report.
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