Conservative approach to abatements works well

There is no in-between.

When it comes to tax abatements, you either “love them” or “hate them.”

Like it or not, however, tax abatements are one of the most important tools an economic developer has. In the economic development world, they often are the “icing to the cake” in sealing a deal to get a new business to open here, or an existing business to expand.

While many local governments have been burned by shady companies in the past who never lived up to the terms of the abatements, Alpena has pretty much been able to avoid such drama. There has been some, but nothing to the magnitude other communities have experienced.

This week, the Alpena Municipal Council heard an update on the abatements in the community, and again it was a favorable report. Four of the five current companies with abatements “met or exceeded their capital investment goals” with the abatements, while only one fell short on the number of employees it had promised to hire.

While certainly not perfect statistics, the report certainly shows Alpena’s conservative approach to abatements has proven to be beneficial for the community, and has allowed for real economic growth to occur locally.

We appreciate that approach and believe, as evidenced by this year’s numbers, abatements are working in the way they were intended.

When that happens, everyone is happy.