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Tax Break For Telegraph Businesses?

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Business owners along Telegraph Road say construction is hurting business. Friday afternoon, Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson is expected to announce a plan to help those businesses.

Patterson, at a 1:30 p.m. news conference at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Township, will propose legislation to cut property taxes for businesses impacted by road projects for the duration of construction. The proposed law would affect business owners statewide.

Patterson is calling for a law that will reduce property taxes up to 50% for any business affected by a construction project that lasts more than three months in its first year. Additionally, if the project goes into a second year, it must continue for at least two more months for the business to be eligible for the tax relief.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester Hills) and State Representative Gail Haines (R-Waterford), along with the Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah all support the idea.

David Littmann, chief economist for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, says businesses along Telegraph lose $1.3 million in productivity for every 15 minutes of delay in the construction zone. Littmann says that amounts to a taking of property by government, for which business owners should be compensated.

The Telegraph construction is expected to extend into 2011.

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