Warner Helps Michigan with Economic Incentive Legislation

12/20/2011

Millions of dollars in economic development and community revitalization grants will be available in Michigan next year, thanks to legislation developed by John Byl.

Byl, an economic incentives attorney at Warner Norcross & Judd, helped create the three new laws (Senate Bills 566, 567 and 568) that will provide about $100 million in incentives. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bills in a December 13 ceremony attended by Byl, Michigan Economic Development Corporation officials and others who were instrumental in the process.

Assisting Byl in drafting the bills was Troy Cumings, a governmental affairs attorney at Warner. Cumings also successfully lobbied for the legislation.

“We did this because it’s critical to the revitalization of our cities,” Byl said of the hours he donated to the legislative work. “If we want to have exciting places to live and work, if we want to attract the creative class, we need these tools.”

Byl, chair of the Michigan Chapter of the National Brownfield Association and vice-chair of the NBA board, began meeting with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and other members of Snyder’s staff early in the year after Snyder vowed to restructure business taxes and eliminate many incentive programs.

Under the new law, the approximately $500 million in incentives and job credits available in previous years was streamlined into $100 million a year for job creation and for redevelopment of property that is deemed to be contaminated, historic, blighted or functionally obsolete.

Competition will be fierce for this smaller pot of money, Byl predicts. “The new process will be more streamlined,” he says, “and focused on improving urban areas.”
 

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