LEAP official: City holds companies accountable with development agreements

Aug 5, 2014

Dorshimer says most competition over corporate location occurs between regions of the state and regions of the country rather than between municipalities.
Credit Courtesy - Lansing Economic Development Corporation

Today we look at how economic incentives are used in the Lansing area. There is fierce competition out there among cities and communities, not just in Michigan but across the country, to attract new businesses that will bring jobs and economic growth. This competition often gives companies the upper-hand when asking for tax abatements and other incentives from local taxpayers. But just how much should Lansing give up in tax revenue for, say, 1000 new jobs? And once that deal is made, how are the numbers tracked to see if, indeed, those new jobs have materialized? What are the consequences if they don’t?

To help us understand how incentive programs are used in the Lansing area, Current State talks with Karl Dorshimer. He has been working in economic development in the Lansing area for more than 20 years. Dorshimer is the director of economic development for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, or LEAP. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation.