House Bill 5567 was introduced on November 3, 2009, by State Representatives Woodrow Stanley, Robert Jones, Coleman Young, Richard Hammel, Lee Gonzales, Jim Slezak, Gabe Leland, David Nathan, Bettie Scott, Timothy Bledsoe, Mark Meadows and Bert Johnson and referred to the Committee on Urban Policy. House Bill 5567 aims to amend 1992 PA 147, entitled, "Neighborhood enterprise zone act," by amending section 2 (MCL 207.772), as amended by 2008 PA 284.. To summarize this legislation, it is necessary to define what a neighborhood enterprise zone is and why it is used in urban areas. Neighborhood enterprise zones allow local governments to designate certain areas for gentrification. The purpose of establishing these zones is to promote home ownership and investment in areas where the greatest impact would occur and where such improvements would cause additional investment in adjacent neighborhoods. The benefit of a program as such, is to rebuild desolate areas and allow failing neighborhoods to be prosperous once again. Also, property owners in these areas end up paying lower property taxes, creating an incentive to take on rejuvenation projects. In House Bill 5567 the definition of "Homestead Facility" is altered from the original legislation. In the new proposed legislation a "Homestead Facility" could be a new or existing structure consisting primarily of 1 or 2 units of residential housing, one of which is occupied by an owner and is their primary residence. This residence must be located in a subdivision platted after January 1, 1999 and in a county with a population over 400,000 but not exceeding 500,000 and located in a city with a population over 100,000 but less than 125,000.
If you look at the added definition and the new numbers, it is clear to see that we are talking about renewal projects for small possibly urban cities that reside in medium sized counties. All of the other parameters are kept the same as the 1992 Bill except for this added definition of "Homestead Facility." The proponents of this bill are looking to extend tax credits to areas where gentrification is not always a main issue. Smaller urban cities in medium sized counties require rejuvenation of structures and have a need for incentives to improve their community like any other large city. The city of Flint and Genesee County would fall into this category of the amended legislation. As a matter of fact Genesee County is the only county, which falls between a population of 400K and 500K. The proponents of this bill are looking to make gentrification projects more appealing to cities like Flint, where years of poverty and loss of jobs has created a stalemate in urban renewal. Opponents of this bill would most likely push for more broad coverage in terms of county population limits, expanding the gentrification tax credit to more counties throughout the state. This bill will most likely pass as proposed because the city of Flint is in need of incentives to rejuvenate neighborhoods and bring growth to it's communities. It would make sense, however, to include more counties and other cities that would benefit from Neighborhood Enterprise Zones and the benefits that follow with their implementation.