Earlier this month, Macomb Township approved a resolution to amend tax abatement standards in industrial districts. Industrial buildings are seen here on 23 Mile Road east of Hayes Road in the township.

Earlier this month, Macomb Township approved a resolution to amend tax abatement standards in industrial districts. Industrial buildings are seen here on 23 Mile Road east of Hayes Road in the township.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Township establishes revised standards for review of industrial applications

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 27, 2022

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — For the first time in over 30 years, Macomb Township reassessed tax exemptions for industrial facilities.

At the Jan. 12 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting, a resolution included amended tax abatement standards for plant rehabilitation in industrial districts.

In a letter to the board, Supervisor Frank Viviano said the township has not revisited its Industrial Facility Tax, or IFT, exemption since 1991.

“IFTs are a commonly used tool to attract industrial development,” he said. “A robust light industrial presence in our community expands and diversifies our tax base, as well as provides economic stimulus through job creation and increased commerce with local businesses.”

Viviano added that the amendment, which was unanimously approved by the board, allows for access to the benefits of an abatement to a wider range of projects and ensures that small business owners and large companies remain on an even playing field.

Per the amendment, all applicants that qualify for an IFT under state law would receive the same nine-year abatement.

The resolution states that the board has determined that it is necessary to establish revised standards for review of applications for Industrial Facility Exemption Certificates.

“The primary goal of Macomb Township is to provide an atmosphere which will encourage capital formation and investment in the township,” the resolution reads. “A major goal of the township is the creation and retention of jobs for township residents as a result of this capital formation and investment in the township.”

The supervisor notes that, under the current policy, larger projects receive a higher level of benefits, putting family-owned and small business owners at a disadvantage. He mentioned that the amendment applies to new construction of businesses that fit the state’s criteria of an industrial facility.

Attorney Tim Tomlinson, who handles general municipal work for the township, clarified it can be a new business or an existing business that brings on new construction.

“This will even the playing field for anybody who is going to invest in our industrial areas,” Viviano said.

Tomlinson said the township had a request not too long ago to look at an industrial facilities exemption.

“Initially, it appeared we were not addressing these or granting them,” he said.

Tomlinson said after looking back at township archives, township administration had some consultation with the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, discussing parameters of what the township should be looking at.

In speaking with the county, Viviano said it was mentioned that Macomb Township lost a significant investment opportunity for a $40 million facility because an abatement wasn’t offered.

Treasurer Leon Drolet said he is generally opposed to treating different taxpayers differently.

“We’re potentially granting a 50% abatement to a new and coming business where an established business does not get any sort of abatement,” Drolet said.

He noted he supports the change from the township’s current policy.

“I’m pleased we moved in an even-handed way of removing some of these stipulations and complexities in allowing small and mid-size businesses to have the same opportunity as larger businesses,” he said.

Regarding the number of existing abatements in surrounding communities, Viviano said the lowest number was nine, with Macomb Township having three.

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