How would like to significantly reduce your taxes?

Renaissance Zone Certification Application

Michigan’s tax-free Renaissance Zones are areas designated as virtually tax free for any business or resident presently in, or moving into, a zone. They are designed to provide selected communities with the most powerful market-based incentive-no taxes-to spur new jobs and investment. The zones in Muskegon vary in size from 10 to 210 acres. Maps of individual sub-zones in Muskegon can be found by following the links below.

The taxes that companies and residents do not pay comprise nearly all the state and local taxes levied on business activity: Single Business Tax (SBT), state personal income tax, six-mill state education tax, local personal property tax, local real property tax, local income tax and utility users tax.

The duration of the Muskegon Renaissance Zone designation lasts until 2014. In all cases, the tax relief will be phased out in 25% increments over the last three years of the program.

Renaissance Zone Q and A

Renaissance Zones are designed to provide tax-free redevelopment zones within distressed areas of a designated community. Public Act 376 of 1996, as amended, authorizes the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the State Administrative Board to accept applications for and designated communities as Renaissance Zone. The general intent of Renaissance Zones as defined by the Michigan State Legislature is to:

“Foster economic opportunities in the community, facilitate economic development, stimulate industrial, commercial, and residential areas, and
provide exemptions and credits from certain taxes.”

Renaissance Zones also provide a more level playing field for development in core urban communities where existing infrastructure is underutilized thereby reducing the extent of urban sprawl.

How “Tax Free” are Renaissance Zones?

New residential development within a Renaissance Zone will receive complete
exemption from the following taxes:

  • Ad Valorem (value based) Property Taxes
  • State and Local Income Taxes (for those who reside in the zone renter or owner)

New commercial / industrial development within a Renaissance Zone will receive
complete exemption from the following:

  • Real Property Taxes
  • Personal Property Taxes
  • State of Michigan Single Business Tax

What taxes / fees will I still pay in a Renaissance Zone?

  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Social Security Taxes
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • State of Michigan Sales Tax
  • Sewer / Water Fees
  • Special Assessment
  • Voted Debt Millage (currently 7.36 mills)

What is the time length of Renaissance Zone Program?

The Renaissance Zone designation began on January 1, 2000, and lasts for 15 years.
The program operates on a running clock. That is, if a business moves into the zone
in the year 2010, it would receive exemption for five years, not the full 15. The final
three years will begin a phase-in of taxation. For example, in the year 2012, a property
owner will pay 25% of their tax liability, 50% in the year 2013, 75% in the year 2014.
Beginning in the year 2015, the property owner will resume 100% of their tax liability.

Who qualifies for Renaissance Zone benefits?

In order to receive the benefit of the Renaissance Zone program, the following
paperwork must be filed with either the state or local unit of government on an annual

  • Annual Single Business Tax Return
  • City and State Income Tax Returns
  • Muskegon County Equalization Exempt Property Form
  • City of Muskegon Renaissance Zone Qualification Form

Where are they located?

The map below shows the location of the four Renaissance Sub-Zones located within the City of Muskegon.

zone locations

Comparison of 2004 Year Millage Rates to Ren. Zone Millage Rates and % Savings
Mill Non Principal Residence Millage Normal Principal Residence Millage Renaissance Zone Millage % Savings for Non Principal Residence % Savings for Principal Residence
County Tax 8.9994 8.9994 0.4000 95.56% 95.56%
MAISD Tax 3.7580 3.7580 0.0000 100.00% 100.00%
City Tax 11.0768 11.0768 0.0000 100.00% 100.00%
School Operations 18.0000 0.0000 0.0000 100.00% 0.00%
School Debt 7.0000 7.0000 7.0000 0.00% 0.00%
Hackley Library 2.4000 2.4000 0.0000 100.00% 100.00%
State Education 6.0000 6.0000 0.0000 100.00% 100.00%
Totals 57.2342 39.2342 7.4000 87.07% 81.14%
* 1 mill is equal to $1 per every $1,000 dollars of the property’s Taxable Value (approx. 50% of the market value)
Estimated Annual Gross Taxable Income Savings
Annual Gross Taxable Income State of Michigan Income Tax City of Muskegon Income Tax Estimated Total Income Tax Savings
$25,000 $975 $250 $1,225
$35,000 $1,365 $350 $1,715
$50,000 $1,950 $500 $2,450
$60,000 $2,340 $600 $2,940
$75,000 $2,925 $750 $3,675
$100,000 $3,900 $1,000 $4,900
* State of Michigan Income Tax is approximately 3.9%. City of Muskegon Income Tax is 1%.

Renaissance Sub zones

Muskegon Mall Sub-zone
Acreage: 26

This downtown property is currently owned by the Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation (DMDC), which is made up of representatives from the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, and the Paul C. Johnson Foundation. The DMDC is currently seeking developers to redevelop this property.muskegon mall renaissance zone