The Livingston County Board of Commissioners will decide whether or not to approve a property tax abatement for Emagine Theatre in Hartland Township. The requested abatement will reduce the movie theatre's property taxes by nearly one-half million dollars.
It is difficult to see the public policy reason for requiring all Livingston County citizens to subsidize the cost of movie tickets. Additionally, the property tax subsidy provides Emagine Theatre with a competive cost advantage over its local competition. It is not fair that government intervene in the marketplace to provide a handout to a favored business.
You can help stop this cronyism by communicating with your County Commissioner and/or attending one of three meetings next week in Howell.
Details on how you can help are provided below. For a more detailed analysis of the proposed subsidy please read these attached documents. These three attachments include: 1) The Conclusions, 2) The Facts, and 3) The supporting Exhibits.
We oppose this tax subsidy because::
- Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Let Emagine’s business plan stand on its own two feet.
- Allowing Emagine to subsidize its business via a Commercial Rehabilitation District skirts the intent of state legislation. The property under consideration does not need rehabilitation.
- Activity associated with Emagine Theatre places a burden on our road system, traffic flow, and public safety resources. Emagine should not be allowed to offload the costs of these burdens on local taxpayers.
- Today’s business climate along with the proposed theatre location offers several advantages for Emagine. These advantages include: Low interest rates, low property tax rates, a recent business tax cut, no costs associated with rehabilitating the property, and high median family income in the local area. Policymakers should not be handing out subsidies to business who can’t survive in this favorable business climate.