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Governor signs tax break legislation for shipping hub

Gov. Jennifer Granholm signs the tax break bills.
Sarah Hulett
Michigan Radio
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signs the tax break bills.

Governor Granholm signed legislation today that will allow for lucrative tax breaks for businesses that want to locate near Detroit Metro Airport.

The project is called the “aerotropolis,” and supporters say it could ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs.

Granholm said:

"I think people can really look forward from here to see what the build-out will be around this area.

"The communities that are going to take advantage of the warehousing and the movement of goods and the logistics and the technology that’s associated with it as well," she said.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano says the tax incentives should help jump-start interest in the project, which has been in the works for years.

"They get complete tax breaks," Ficano said. "No personal property, no property taxes. In some cases they even eliminate the income taxes that the employees pay in the area."

Last year, General Electric announced plans to build a hundred-million dollar advanced manufacturing and technology center.

The ideabehind the aerotropolis is that aviation-related businesses could do for this century what highways, railroads and seaports did for earlier centuries.

The legislation allows for similar zones near other airports in Michigan. It limits the number of businesses that can qualify for the abatements to 25 statewide.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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