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Governor signs new tax incentives into law to boost development of blighted sites

Jun 8, 2017

A new tax break for redeveloping blighted land in Michigan is now law.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill Thursday as he sat in the gutted lobby of a 120-year-old office building in downtown Saginaw. The Berringer building has sat unused for years as a series owners have tried and failed to renovate it.

Mayor Dennis Browning hopes the incentives will help save many of the architectural landmarks in Michigan communities.

“Too many of these buildings are going by the wayside,” says Browning, “With the right incentives, (developers) will invest. However, they need help. They need the incentives.”

The incentives for developers include “capturing" taxes to help finance their projects.

Michigan eliminated many of its special economic development incentives early in Governor Snyder’s first term.  The governor says these new incentives can be a catalyst for new growth.

Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert has been a prominent supporter of the legislation.

Critics say Gilbert’s major skyscraper project on the old Hudson’s department store site in Detroit may be in line for the incentives.