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Are tax incentives as a tool to lure large-scale corporate investment and jobs here to stay? That’s the question at the heart of this interview today with Kevin Johnson, the president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Development Corp.

It’s particularly timely in the midst of Chrysler’s planned $2.5 billion investment to create 5,000 new jobs on Detroit’s east side, where workers will build the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row full-size Jeep SUV. The deal has won some $291 million in assorted incentives.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation – or DEGC for short – has been instrumental in development projects in the city since the late 1970s.

Johnson took over as head of the organization about a year ago.

He spent a few years doing economic development in Atlanta, as well as stints at organizations in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.

He spoke with Jer at the Mackinac Policy Conference last week on Mackinac Island.

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