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State board overrules Flint city council on tax break

Jul 16, 2015

Flint’s city council has been overruled by a state-appointed oversight board.

600 S. Saginaw has sat vacant for years. Plans for rehabbing the building are back on track after a state-appointed oversight board overruled a decision by the Flint city council.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Yesterday, the Receivership Transition Advisory Board, or RTAB, approved a tax break for a downtown development project.  

Governor Snyder removed Flint’s emergency manager earlier this year, giving the city a greater degree of local control. But RTAB has final say. 

The Obsolete Personal Property Tax Exemption will provide a 12-year tax incentive for the Uptown Reinvestment corporation to renovate a long-vacant building in the heart of downtown Flint. Plans call for turning the former drug store into multiple small business storefronts. 

But Flint city council members say they are tired of giving businesses tax breaks when the city is struggling financially. So they rejected the tax break.

The council’s decision put the project in jeopardy. 

Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson sought to have the council’s decision overruled by RTAB. 

“It’s always good to see buildings that are abandoned be revived and revitalized,” Henderson said after the meeting. “Of course, my hope is the majority of the council will support these types of projects moving forward.”

Two city council members expressed disappointment at the RTAB’s decision, with one complaining the council didn’t have a voice in the board’s decision.