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Michigan House passes bills boosting brownfield sites

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(The Center Square) – The Michigan House approved a six-bill package to allow housing in the state’s brownfield economic development sites aimed at lowering rent costs while filling vacant buildings to generate tax revenue.

The bill package, Senate Bill 129, SB 130, 131, 289, and 132, would allow housing development within brownfield sites and allow the State Brownfield Redevelopment Fund to distribute revenue deposited into the fund from a brownfield redevelopment plan that included housing developments.

Redevelopment of brownfields – vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected contamination – increases property values on the revitalized site and nearby properties.

SB 289 aims to increase the cap on total annual capture from $40 million to $80 million.

Transformational Brownfield Plans reinvest a portion of the new tax revenues from a completed project back into the project to make the redevelopment financially feasible.

Additionally, the bills would increase the amount for reasonable costs of a brownfield plan from $30,000 to $50,000 and increase the amounts of tax increment revenue attributable to local taxes a brownfield redevelopment authority could use each fiscal year.

The Senate has already passed the bill package, so the package will soon move to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.

A TBP must be used for mixed-use development and must result in specified levels of capital investment based on the local municipality’s population size, such as a capital investment of $15 million in a municipality that has a population size of less than 25,000.

Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, previously said the bills could help transform Michigan.

“Our local communities throughout Michigan are excited that we are updating the successful and creative transformational brownfield program. There is no other program designed for, or capable of, supporting brownfield redevelopments of this scale and impact,” Moss said in a statement. “This is a tool that will help keep and attract talent here, grow our population, and create the kind of vibrant locations that people want to live in-while retaining the local input and control that communities are looking for.”

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