Au Gres looking into commercial tax abatement district
Au GRES — The Au Gres planning commission will be researching the feasibility of creating a tax abatement district for commercial property within the city following a city council vote May 1.
Though no details have been solidified yet, City Manager Pat Killingbeck said under state law, the city is allowed to create a “commercial rehabilitation exemption certificate,” which is functionally similar to the tax abatements currently available to industrial property in Au Gres, Standish and elsewhere.
If the city establishes a district, commercial property owners there can submit a request to the city to waive local property taxes on new investments. While the existing industrial property tax abatements allow local municipalities to continue collecting 50-percent of the property taxes on new construction and investment, the commercial district law does not allow any of the taxes to be collected.
Killingbeck said there are limits under the state law, however. Property owners can only opt out of city taxes; state and school taxes are exempt, and the county has 28 days after the establishment of a district to decide whether or not it will opt out as well.
If the city council ultimately decides to pursue a district, it must post a public notice for a public hearing process to collect residents’ input.
The planning commission meets Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. Killingbeck said.