LANSING (WWJ) – State officials Wednesday formally unveiled the new economic and urban revitalization tax breaks that will replace tax credit programs dating back to the Granholm and Engler administrations.

The programs are limited to $100 million in incentives a year, and kick in Oct. 1.

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“We are creating entirely new incentive programs to attract new business investment for job creation and redevelopment of our communities that are performance based with clear benchmarks, that will offer greater flexibility and a transparent process,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “Most importantly, we are building a friendlier business climate in Michigan to help drive Michigan’s economic turnaround. These programs will better leverage our state’s many assets in ways that are simple, fair, efficient and transparent.”

The Michigan Business Development and Michigan Community Revitalization Programs replace the state’s previous MEGA, Brownfield and Historic tax credit programs that were features of the Michigan Business Tax, which will be eliminated Oct. 1 as Michigan moves to a new business tax — a straightforward 6 percent tax on profits. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the new tax into law in May.

“We can now offer quicker access to funding assistance for businesses and developers while affording lower costs and greater flexibility for economic developers,” Finney said.

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The Michigan Business Development Program will provide grants, loans or other economic assistance of up to $10 million to businesses that are creating qualified new jobs and making new investments in Michigan.

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and “net positive return to the state.” Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

The Michigan Community Revitalization Program will provide grants, loans, or other economic assistance of up to $10 million to projects that will revitalize regional urban areas, act as a catalyst for additional investment in a community, reuse vacant or historic buildings and promote mixed use and sustainable development.

The programs will take effect Oct. 1.

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