City ends tax breaks

July 19, 2010
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City commissioners terminated two industrial tax abatements last week that had been awarded to Spectrum Graphics Inc.

The commission’s action was considered to be a formality because Wolverine Printing Co. acquired Spectrum Graphics and some of the company’s equipment a little more than a year ago, after the two firms had talked about combining their operations for roughly 18 months.

Spectrum Graphics received an abatement worth $750,000 for real property in 1999, and another worth $319,395 for personal property in 2006.

City Economic Development Director Kara Wood told the Business Journal that the personal-property exemption was transferable, but she said Wolverine Printing told her it wouldn’t apply for it. The matter now goes to the state tax commission, a move that will complete the termination process.

The city revoked six industrial exemptions in November that were awarded to four local manufacturers. Those tax abatements were given out between 1998 and 2006 and were worth a total of $11 million. Wood said the city will likely terminate a few more in the immediate future, but she added that the percentage of abatements being terminated was pretty low. “We’re just cleaning those up,” she said of last week’s action.

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