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Tax Capture Legislation Moving Swiftly Through State Senate – Could Hit Roadblock In House

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Legislation that would give companies building on blighted and undesirable land a tax break is swiftly making its way through the Senate.  But it could be headed for a roadblock.  

Tax breaks for companies that build on blighted land is quickly making its way through the state Senate.  But it could hit a roadblock in the state House.  House Republicans have made it clear they have income tax cuts on the mind – to the tune of costing the state $1.1 billion in revenue during its first full year.  

But legislation that would allow developers to recapture sales and use taxes on projects that transform undesirable areas like brownfields could conflict with the House’s plans. 

Republican Senator Ken Horn is a sponsor of the tax capture bills packaged as the MI Thrive Coalition.  He said, “We’ve got many in the House that favor this idea, ‘cause there are a lot of conservative values that are built into it.”

But Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says he isn’t ready to take a position yet.  

“Philosophically I think everybody is pretty clear where my record is,” he said.  “I typically am one that does not like the idea of picking winners and losers.”  

“But I’m not going to take a position on this bill until I’ve actually had an opportunity to see it, read it, review it, and understand it,” Leonard explained.   

Horn said he willing to work with the House to achieve all their goals.  

“We have a lot of work to do, going over to the colleagues on the House side and teaching them a little bit about what this series of bills does,” he said. 

Both pieces of legislation have been voted out of committee and are waiting full floor votes in their respective chambers.  

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at

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