Representative Gail Haines Sponsors Construction Zone Property Tax Relief Bill

Pontiac, MI, November 16, 2010 – Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announces that State Representative Gail Haines (R-Waterford) is sponsoring two bills based on his proposal to provide property tax relief to businesses impacted by construction zones anywhere in Michigan.

Patterson held a news conference September 10th along Telegraph at which he proposed that local communities should have the option to reduce property taxes up to 50% for businesses struggling financially from the impact of construction zones. He cited many examples of businesses along Telegraph and Rochester roads whose revenues were down between 20% and 50%, resulting in layoffs and potential closure.

“This construction season has been especially hard on Oakland County businesses,” Patterson said. “It is critical for the survival of affected business owners and their employees that the House and Senate pass these bills. If they vote this bill into law, it will have statewide effect.”

One bill, known as the “Adverse Construction Specific Tax Act,” requires a major infrastructure construction project last at least three months its first year and at least two months if it extends into a second year in order for a business to be eligible for reduced property taxes. This will not include projects performed on interstate highways. A business impacted adversely by major construction will be able to apply for an exemption with its local assessor or clerk of the local tax collecting unit.

The other bill adds section 700 to MCL 211.1 to 211.155 (the General Property Tax Act), allowing governing bodies of local tax collecting units to adopt a resolution to exempt real and personal property owned or leased by an eligible business.  

“Working together, the bills would allow local governing bodies to adopt a resolution exempting businesses within a major infrastructure construction project area from paying property taxes,” said Haines. “Instead these businesses would pay the ‘adverse construction specific tax,’ which would amount to 50% of the general property tax.”

It will be up to each municipality to choose whether to extend that relief to its businesses impacted by major construction zones.

As the 2010 construction season comes to a close, the holiday shopping season is upon everyone. Patterson encourages shoppers to return to the stores they previously patronized along the Telegraph and Rochester corridors.

“Many of the heavy construction projects are wrapping up,” Patterson said. “Businesses that were impacted much of the year by major construction projects deserve your support.”

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