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September 21 • 01:39 PM
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Two city commercial areas eyed for rehab


June 25, 2008
IMLAY CITY — City commissioners are moving to establish a pair of commercial rehabilitation districts within the city. Two other districts could follow in the future.

The commmission agreed last Tuesday to submit city commercial Districts 3 and 4 to the Lapeer County Commission for consideration as areas for commercial rehabilition.

The Commercial Rehabilitation Act applies specifically to multi-family housing or groups of contiguous buildings of commercial property at least 15 years old.

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This strip of commercial buildings along west M-53, south of Newark Rd., could be eligible for tax benefits through the Commercial Rehabilitation Act. photo by Tom Wearing.
Such properties must be located in a commercial district of at least three acres. The three-acre requirement can be waived if the business is located in a downtown district, as determined by the local government.

City Manager Amy Planck noted that District 3 encompasses the area near Borland Road and M-53, that includes Imlay City Ford, Jet's Pizza, Imlay City Lube Center and others. District 4 includes commercial businesses near the intersection of M-53 and Newark Road, including Pamida, the Kroger Plaza, Big Boy restaurant and others.

"This is something that has recently become available through the state," said Planck. "We're trying to be proactive. There aren't a lot of communities doing this yet."

If approved, Planck said eligible businesses in Districts 3 and 4 can submit applications to the city to have the taxable values of their property frozen for a period of from 1-10 years, at the city's discretion.

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"Industrial properties already have access to tax advantages through abatements," said Planck. "This would be something for our commercial businesses."

The terms of the Commercial Rehabilitation Act would freeze the taxable value of exempted buildings at the level prior to rehabilitation.

Planck noted that "the taxable value of land and personal property would remain unchanged."

She added that the city eventually hopes to designate the Downtown District and District 2 (businesses along M-21) for commercial rehabilitation.

The Lapeer County Commission has 28 days to respond to the city's request.

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