Houghton and Hancock, Upper Peninsula neighbors, are among 18
communities competing for state tax designation that development
officials hope will attract more high-tech industry to Michigan.
The cities were joined in their application by Michigan Tech University,
in Houghton, which plans to create the Michigan Tech Enterprise
Park within the cities' boundaries.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) plans to designate 10
SmartZones over the next two years as high-tech research areas. The state's
goal is to draw businesses that could bring in new tax dollars, high-skill
jobs and a medium for scholars to market their ideas.
SmartZone designation would allow communities to use existing tax dollars
captured from the zones to draw high-tech firms. Revenues could be used
for land acquisition, infrastructure or marketing. The MEDC may designate
four such zones statewide this year and six more by 2002.