Monday, September 18, 2006

Minimal revenue from new Green Oak mall

Remember how the Green Oak Township board voted to upgrade to Charter Township status in order to keep the City of Brighton from annexing the site of the proposed mall, thereby gaining all the new tax revenue?
According to an article in the 9-18-06 Argus, the new $100 million dollar mall will not benefit Brighton schools and will provide little extra revenue to Green Oak Township.
"With its nonhomestead tax rate of 18 mills, the district could be looking at almost $1 million in new tax revenue from the mall. However, Brighton Superintendent Jim Craig said the mall won't boost the district's revenue that much because the state will reduce its contribution by whatever new tax revenue is generated by the mall."
Fair enough, since the new mall won't create any additional burden for the school district. However,
"St. Charles said the Green Oak Township Police Department will receive an estimated $76,000 in new revenue yearly. The Fire Department would see $70,000, and the township general operating fund would get about $40,000 in new revenue."
A major mall like this will generate frequent calls to the police and fire department, to cover both the mall itself plus problems from the additional traffic. The additional tax revenue won't even pay for the cost of adding 1 additional person to each department by the time the cost of training, equipment, and benefits is added in. The township gets an extra $40,000 per year, but how much will it cost to provide maintenance for and make improvements to area roads in order to accommodate increased traffic?
This hardly seems like a tax boon for the township. If this article is correct, at best the mall is break even and it could end up being a tax liability for the township. Is this information accurate and complete, or are we missing something?


bluzie said...

Keith I don't think you re missing a thing.

Hmmmm which State Rep pushed this mall through?

As always, follow the money!

RKG said...

This is the type of development that leads to all kinds of problems and offers few real benefits to the community it invades. It encourages sprawl and undermines the business and social community that it displaces. The costs - increased traffic, increased criminal prosecution for shoplifting, destruction of vacant land, etc - are shoved on to the general public while the developers take the money and run. The mall got sold as a "lifesytle" center - the idea being that nothing could be more ideal than living within walking distance of the mall - yet I've heard nothing about amenities beyond a gazebo in the middle of a parking lot. It's a shame and everyone will lament the passing of small shops in Brighton that will fail but the place will be packed. And what's just as sad is that the people of Hartland are falling all over themselves to build one just like it. If you don't support this type of development, don't go there. Support the businesses that you want to succeed.

Keith Richards said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keith Richards said...

I'm not anti-growth but I am concerned about the way in which the costs of growth are distributed.

Right now the system works like this: A small community that has low taxes and a population pleased with the school system and current level of government services is informed that a mega community of new homes is going to be built. In spite of local opposition to the new development the local government is unable to prevent construction and it gets built. Before the last home is sold local government learns that it's police and fire departments are now overburdened and places millages on the ballot for upgrades. The school system discovers that current buildings are too small for the influx of new students and also pushes new millages. Then the roads get overloaded and citizens demand (many of them in the new development) that roads be improved, leading to another new millage. And it never stops . . . . soon there is a demand for more parks, a larger library, a new township/city hall. Suddenly the old timers in the community find themselves being taxed right out of their homes.

Is it really fair that longtime residents are forced to bear large tax increases in order to pay for demands created by an explosion in growth?

State law in Michigan generally prevents local governments from placing special taxes or fees on new development. But is this really fair? Should not new development bear the cost of infrastructure improvements needed to support that new development?

This gets pretty complicated because each type of development brings it's own benefits and problems. There is no "one size fits all" solution. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers on this issue but it does seem that current practices definitely need some improvement. And it is unfortunate that current state laws give local governments so little flexability in dealing with large new developments.

Virtous Woman said...

Of course there is minimal revenue. Not enough to even hire a traffic control officer. Short sighted leadership in Green Oak so no wonder. The burden is again shifted to the taxpayer by the REPUBLICAN ELECTED OFFICIALS. You voted for them, vote out the ones you can VOTE out now & send message or be quiet & put up with nonsense again.