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Patterson Proposes Property Tax Break for Construction Zone Businesses

Public Date: 9/10/2010 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson will announce today at a 1:30 p.m. news conference at Carl's Golfland in Bloomfield Township that he will propose legislation to cut property taxes for businesses impacted by road projects for the duration of construction. The proposed law would affect business owners statewide.

With the support of Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester Hills), State Representative Gail Haines (R-Waterford), Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, and other local business and political leaders, Patterson is calling for a law that will reduce property taxes up to 50% for any business affected by a construction project that lasts more than three months in its first year. Additionally, if the project goes into a second year, it must continue for at least two more months for the business to be eligible for the tax relief.

Patterson highlighted how businesses in Oakland County have been impacted by summer construction:

"This construction imposes a clear hardship on businesses along Telegraph, as an example," Patterson said. "When drivers cannot turn around in the median for three miles, they are less likely to patronize shops on Telegraph. This problem, in varying degrees, goes on all around the state where construction zones exist."

David Littmann, chief economist for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, says businesses along Telegraph lose $1.3 million in productivity for every 15 minutes of delay in the construction zone. Littmann says that amounts to a taking of property by government, for which business owners should be compensated. Telegraph business owners back that up. Some who have spoken with the County Executive's office say their business is down 20-50%.

"Cutting property taxes will not fully compensate hard working business owners for all the business they lose during the construction season, but it will send a significant message that government understands their economic pain and is willing to provide some relief," Patterson said.

One of the business owners impacted by Telegraph construction, Carl Rose of Carl's Golfland, says he supports the proposed legislation. "I'm a popular destination in these parts and my business has dropped 20 to 25%. I own the strip north of here where Biggby Coffee and Subway are located, and it has just destroyed them," Rose said.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at 248-858-1048.

Proposed Tax Relief