Eagle Township residents say no tax breaks for local company

“I think it’s a bad precedent and a bad deal for Eagle.”
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:49 AM EST
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EAGLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Eagle Township residents have banned together to try to stop factories from moving into the quiet, rural community. Now, Paxton Countertops wants a tax abatement to build a factory in the township. People who showed up to the public hearing Thursday night were not happy.

“This is my livelihood and my family business. This is not some factory, some big thing,” said Paxton Countertops’ CEO, Dave Paxton.

Paxton Countertops is a company native to the Mid-Michigan area. The Eagle Township board is considering a tax abatement proposal by the local company.

“What we’re taxed is here, what the average individual is taxed is here. We’re just asking for a little break for a little while to help us get moved in. We like the property, we like the area, we have interest in this area, I grew up here for 47 years,” said Paxton.

Eagle Township residents said Paxton Countertops said the company has no home there.

“Woe is me, costs are high is not a reason for tax abatement. Woe is me, costs are high is the harsh reality of business. So, I believe Mr. Paxton came here to build, that’s his choice, he can build but I don’t believe in a tax abatement,” said one resident.

Tax abatements are commonly used by local governments to stimulate economic growth and attract industries to the community.

“However, Clinton County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state with a median household income of $76,000 and Eagle Township sits $20,000 above that at $96,000. Eagle Township did not and has not been seeking out manufacturing facilities to bring jobs in,” said another resident.

With no one agreeing with the tax abatement for a local company. The question becomes—Do Eagle Township residents not want any type of industrial work to come to their township? The newly elected Township Supervisor Troy Stroud answered.

“Our community values having a good solid rural roots and being a place that people want to live and looking for just good reasonable growth,” said Stroud.

Because Troy Stroud is newly elected, there was no decision made on the public hearing and if the township is granting the tax abatement. That will be decided in a special meeting on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

It was also revealed at the meeting that Township Treasurer, Kathy Oberg sent a letter of resignation to the board—effective Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. The board ultimately passed a motion to deny that resignation because the township needs a treasurer to continue operational duties.

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