MICHauto > Blog > MICHauto in the News > Lawmakers Eye Tax Credits for Student Loan Payments as a Way to Boost Population

Lawmakers Eye Tax Credits for Student Loan Payments as a Way to Boost Population

October 5, 2023

Crain’s Detroit Business
Oct. 10, 2023
David Eggert

Lawmakers have an idea on how to grow Michigan’s population: Give young people — and businesses — tax breaks for student loan payments.

Legislation introduced in August would let residents claim an income tax credit of 50% of the amount they paid on their student debt during a tax year if they have graduated from a Michigan high school or received a bachelor’s, master’s or other graduate degree from a public or private college in the state. People who have not graduated from a Michigan high school or college but have relocated to the state could claim a credit of 25%.

Businesses that make loan payments on behalf of their employees would get a 25% or 50% credit depending on from where the workers graduated. People and companies could claim credits within 10 years of graduation. The maximum credit for a tax year would be no more than 20% of the average yearly tuition to attend a Michigan public university.

In a report conducted for MICHauto, an automotive and mobility cluster association, Richard Florida’s Creative Class Group found that while Michigan does well on talent retention overall, too much of the most crucial talent it generates — tech talent — leaves. The state also lags badly in attracting young, college-educated tech talent from elsewhere.

RELATED: Richard Florida Presents Findings of Study on National High-Tech Talent Hubs, Where Michigan Stands