Mar 14, 2017
Mich. State Funds Target Multiple Brownfield Sites
Under a state of Michigan legislative proposal, five brownfield transformation projects would be eligible for tax benefits for decontaminating and preparing new structures on polluted land. Whether in the form of grants or tax relief, such incentives are imperative to facilitate purchasing of brownfields, said Carrie Geyer, a supervisor of the Brownfield Redevelopment Unit of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
“This new proposal that’s out there is definitely interesting,” Geyer said. “And it’s always good to see that there’s people out there looking at how do you create those brownfield incentive packages, because they’re crucial.”
On face value, the new legislation might not be valuable to the environment, however. James Clift, policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council, said the bill is only designed to deal with five sites a year; thus, it doesn’t have a major environmental component to it.
Clift hedged his argument by saying that some sites are the sources of serious environmental and public danger, while others require only minor reclamation. The true impact of the bill could be determined by which locations would be targeted, he said.
Under the law, privately owned buildings must be kept to a certain standard so they do not harm public health and safety.
Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, said only major projects would be sought under the legislation he introduced. To qualify for one of the proposed tax breaks, the plan would have to be of a specific magnitude. In a city the size of Saginaw, that would be a $25 million undertaking. In Detroit, that figure would swell to $500 million.
The legislation is in the House Tax Policy Committee.
Source: Spartan Newsroom