Even Carlson isn't feeling pessimistic. But then, he's not just a developer: he's also a partner in businesses that employ 950 people across the state. They will benefit from the same changes that curtailed the historic and brownfield credits.
"I understand those cuts directly affect something I do for a living," Carlson says, "but I think that this vision, while painful, is needed to get the state back on track." Thanks to the tax law changes, he says, his group is developing a new business that will employ about eighty people.
With so many interconnected factors at work, it's too early to predict just how the tax changes will change Ann Arbor. The one certainty is that whatever state and local governments do, the most important decisions will be made in the undramatic quiet of developers' offices, as they work on their new equations.
[Originally published in October, 2011.]