Auto/Economy
2:01 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Senator Stabenow wants to expand tax break for bio-manufacturers

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is hoping to provide a 30-percent federal tax cut to companies expanding in bio-based manufacturing.

Congress approved the tax cut for advanced manufacturers in 2009. Stabenow wants to renew that tax break and expand it for companies developing bio-based products. Bio-manufacturing covers dozens of products. The idea is to use crops like soybeans and corn to create prescriptions drugs, plastics, and soaps instead of refined crude oil.

“If we can get to 20-percent,” Stabenow said, “This will make a huge difference.”

Currently, bio-based products make up just 4-percent of the plastic and chemical market. A USDA study says more than 100,000 jobs could be created if the 20-percent mark is reached by 2025.

Stabenow said developing alternatives to oil-based products is good for national security and Michigan’s economy.

Stabenow said the tax break would benefit farmers and about 80 Michigan companies in the industry.