WisBusiness: Details fuzzy on state’s plan to lure GM

By WisBusiness Staff

The state has submitted its incentive package aimed at wooing GM into producing a line of small cars at its idled Janesville plant, but officials are remaining mum on the specifics.

Two other sites are under consideration: one in Michigan and another in Tennessee. GM’s decision is expected by the end of the month.

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, a former UAW local prez, has been working with Gov. Jim Doyle and other officials to put together an incentive package for GM. His office declined to provide specifics of the package in order to preserve the state’s bargaining power, but pointed to Janesville’s workforce, plant size, and cost-saving concessions the plant’s union agreed to last year as reasons why Janesville would be a good site.

His office also pointed to provisions included in the Assembly’s budget that GM may be able to take advantage of.

One provision allows for the Department of Commerce to certify businesses to receive a capital investment tax credit of up to 10 percent of its “significant capital expenditures.” The Assembly’s budget sets aside $1.625 million in 2009-10 and $1.865 million in 2010-11 for the credits.

Another provision would create a “development opportunity zone” in Janesville. The designation would provide up to $5 million in tax credits over five years to support job creation. According to a statement from Sheridan, the provision would allow companies to claim up to $8,000 in tax credits for each full-time, family-supporting job created or sustained.