LANSING, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League today (May 14, 2012) is calling on the Governor and Michigan Legislature to appropriate the $100 million that was committed to communities for economic gardening and revitalization when the redevelopment credits were eliminated.
For many years, communities throughout Michigan used Brownfield and Historic and MEGA credits as incentives to clean up properties, revitalize communities, and attract jobs. Last year, these credits were eliminated by the Legislature and were replaced by two new programs – the Community Revitalization Program which provides funding for cleanup and redevelopment, and the Business Development Program which uses cash to lure businesses to Michigan.
The Governor is philosophically against credits, and the promise was made that these two new programs would be funded to adequately make up for the loss of credits. Last year, after significant negotiating, the Legislature and Governor agreed to fund these two programs with a combined $100 million.
This year, the Governor again recommended $100 million and changed this to an annual appropriation instead of a one-time appropriation. The Legislature in the Appropriations process, though, reduced the funding. The House cut that amount by $10 million because of reduced revenues available. The Senate cut the amount by $34 million because of reduced revenues ($9 million) and they moved $25 million to the film program.
The House Fiscal Agency today announced that they estimate an additional $56.6 million in revenues coming to the state for the next fiscal year. The Senate Fiscal agency estimates an additional $57.8 million. As such, the League calls on the Legislature and Governor to restore the funding to the committed level of $100 million. The Legislature and Governor talk about the importance of jobs and economic development, and these dollars correlate directly into creation of place, revitalization, and jobs in our local communities.
Andy Schor is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. Contact him at (517) 908-0300 or by [email protected].