As in most states, the current system for how land is taxed in Michigan does not encourage investment in unused properties. This lack of investment, especially in struggling urban and rural areas, hurts the economy by hindering opportunities for growth and property development.
Representative Townsend supports legislation to allow cities to implement land value taxation, which would place the property tax burden on the actual land and not the buildings or improvements. This incentivizes a property owner to develop property in order to balance the tax burden and encourages private investment through rewards for those who invest in their property. This method is a market-driven way to encourage investment in struggling communities and to reuse existing assets rather than promote urban sprawl.