Brownfield Credits – a cause worth fighting for

28 Mar 2011

Book Cadillac - before credits

And After

Here’s a recent post on another blog, Rustwire,  which posits that young people are leaving Michigan for other places not because there aren’t jobs but because there isn’t the urban quality of life they crave.  It’s an interesting take – certainly young people continue to flock to places like Portland when there are no jobs for them there. 

What’s interesting to me about the Rustwire post is that the author says that tax rates (at least his tax rates) are not driving businesses away (at least not his) – it’s the ability to find good talent.  That author is also pushing for further development of the Woodward corridor – which he says is “bigger” than Minneapolis all by itself!

How to do this?  Well, I’ve already written about the need to hang onto and use brownfield credits – here’s a longer version of the argument in favor of brownfield (and other credits) that appeared in DBusiness.

The Governor says his plan is the right thing to do  but others are starting to express a concern that it amounts to unilateral disarmament  – even John Engler’s old press secretary has indicated that this isn’t a good idea and it’s been thought of before.

Perhaps the Governor is starting to get it.  He is quoted in Saturday’s paper as saying that perhaps more money might be needed for business incentives and specifically brownfield credits.  However, in either a fit of hyperbole or lack of familiarity, the Governor Snyder said “if you had a suburban house with a brown lawn, you could say it’s a brownfield.”  This  is simply untrue.  The Governor or his advisors seem to be staking out a position that the current brownfield program somehow grew beyond what was intended.  While the Governor is correct that the program expanded to include documented obsolete sites – the program was always an econcomic development tool – an effective one – and he should know that.

Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply