Archived Story

Tyler legislation aims to revitalize vacant properties

Published 8:58am Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LANSING – Continuing in her effort to bring new business to her jurisdiction, including the Niles area – State Representative Sharon Tyler has been busy in Michigan’s capital.
Last week, Tyler introduced legislation she hopes will attract new businesses to those empty buildings dotting many of Michigan’s streets.

To fight against “urban blight,” Tyler is introducing legislation to give tax incentives to businesses that take over vacant properties and return them to usefulness.

“Many businesses choose to build on undeveloped land because it can be more cost-efficient than restoring an existing building,” she said.

“But the end result is that our downtown areas become dilapidated as our cities spread further and further apart. My legislation gives businesses an incentive to utilize vacant properties, which will help keep our cities strong and reduce urban sprawl.”

Tyler’s legislation is said to modify the state’s Commercial Rehabilitation Act to make vacant commercial property exempt from property taxes for up to 10 years if a business uses the vacant property.

Tyler said the tax incentives will make it cost-efficient for businesses to reuse older facilities and bring new life to economically depressed areas.

Tyler introduced the legislation after the idea was reportedly suggested to her by officials from the City of Bridgman.

“This legislation will offer a level playing field on local tax abatement incentives across (the state) of Michigan, while having a neutral effect on state tax revenues,” said Kathy Ramso, chair of the Bridgman Economic Development and Corridor Improvement Authority.

The next step is to get the legislation through committee, which Tyler said she hopes will happen soon.

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