Doing Business In Oak Park

Oak Park continues to be a desirable location for businesses and residents to locate. Our great location, excellent housing stock, affordable commercial/industrial properties, excellent public safety are just some of the qualities Oak Park can offer. In 2015, Oak Park boasted a 260% increase in the amount of commercial and industrial building investment and has not slowed down since then.  We continue to attract new investment into the community and are diligently working on creating new public spaces to attract the talent needed to fill positions.

2015 was a big year in the city of Oak Park.  For the first time, the Oak Park resident voters passed a ballot initiative to allow for the sale of Class “C” Liquor Licenses.  With over 20 available licenses available at a cost under $2,500 each it is a valuable opportunity to spark new investment in restaurants throughout the community.  Also, in 2015 we became a One-Stop Ready recognized community in Oakland County as well as a Top Performing recognized eCities community from U of M Dearborn.  http://umdilabs.com/page/best-practices-2015  We have been on that list since then.  We have continually improved and streamlined our processes so every new or existing business gets quick, reliable, and value added service.  Time is money and we work with all developers to streamline their projects to be approved in the shortest amount of time possible.  

In June of 2018 the City became the 23rd Redevelopment Ready Certified Community in the State of Michigan.  The process helped us to streamline our business services even more than before to speed up development time and this allows us access to new incentives previously not available.  

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation offers several incentives that are handled at the local level.

Tax Abatement Programs

  • PA 146, the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act Exemption (OPRA) provides property tax exemptions for rehabilitated commercial housing properties. Properties must meet eligibility requirements and be located in an OPRA District as defined by the City of Ferndale. The State Tax Commission (STC) is responsible for final approval and issuance of OPRA certificates.
  • PA 198 property tax abatements were created by the State of Michigan to provide a stimulus in the form of significant tax incentives to industries that renovate and expand aging plants, build new plants, and promote establishment of research and development laboratories.
  • Property tax abatement is an incentive provided primarily to build new plants in Michigan or renovate and expand aging assembly, manufacturing, and research plants. The incentive comes in the form of abated property taxes. The value of the project added will produce 50% of the taxes for a set period of time and then resume to the full tax value at the end of the abatement period. 
  • Public Act 328 allows eligible businesses to abate personal property taxes on new investments in the City of Oak Park. Eligible projects include manufacturing, mining, research and development, wholesale trade, and office operations.
  • In 2014, the legislature finalized revisions to the Michigan Personal Property Tax (PPT) reform. Under this revised package, the small “essential services assessment” (ESA) that manufacturers pay to cover their costs associated with local government police, fire, ambulance, and jail services will now be a flat, statewide rate that is fixed and requires only one form and payment to be submitted to the state. 
  • The Michigan Business Development Program is a new incentive program available to eligible businesses that create qualified new jobs and/or make qualified new investment in Michigan. This is a new incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The program is designed to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment.
  • Michigan Community Revitalization Program The Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) is an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The focus of the MCRP is to encourage and promote structural renovations and redevelopment of brownfield and historic preservation sites located in traditional downtowns and high-impact corridors. MCRP provides gap financing in the form of performancebased grants, loans, or other economic assistance for eligible investment projects in Michigan.
  • PA 210 Commercial Rehabilitation Act Public Act 210 of 2005, as amended, encourages the rehabilitation of commercial property by abating the property taxes generated from new investment for a period up to 10 years. As defined, commercial property is a qualified facility that includes a building or group of contiguous buildings of commercial property that is 15 years or older, of which the primary purpose is the operation of a commercial business enterprise or multifamily residential use. A qualified facility may also include vacant property or other commercial property which, within the immediately preceding 15 years, was commercial property. Types of commercial business enterprises include office, engineering, research and development, warehousing, parts distribution, retail sales, and other commercial activities. Multi-family residential is housing that consists of five or more units. Commercial properties allocated new market tax credits are also considered a qualified facility.
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Under the Brownfield Redevelopment Act PA 381 of 1996, as amended, a municipality may create a brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to develop and implement brownfield projects. A BRA is a resource that may use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for property redevelopment.
     

Questions on business licenses, liquor licenses, ordinances, etc. please visit the Planning & Zoning tab.