Sen. Jansen’s legislation to encourage groceries to sell more nutritious foods signed into law
LANSING — State Sen. Mark C. Jansen’s legislation, signed into law today, will help ensure that residents across the state have adequate access to grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables.
Public Act 231 of 2008, sponsored by Jansen, allows local units of government to offer tax abatements for up to 10 years for grocery stores established in redeveloping areas.
“This law will help Michigan residents, regardless of where they live, to buy nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “I’m glad to see such an important piece of legislation become law.”
Residents of low-income areas often lack access to stores with nutritious foods and suffer higher rates of obesity, malnutrition and diet-related disease. The shortage of grocery stores means residents must travel to find nutritious food, something many lower-income residents cannot afford to do. The alternative is to shop at more expensive convenience stores that stock less nutritious food products.
The tax abatement is only available for grocery stores established in underserved areas located in core communities or in underserved rural places as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“This new measure will help make Michiganians healthier and spur neighborhood revitalization,” Jansen said. “I am dedicated to helping turn our great state around and making it an even better place to call home.”
The tax abatement is only available for groceries that provide fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products.
Jansen is the first state legislator to address this vital issue following a recent administration report. His former position with Habitat for Humanity of Michigan was the catalyst behind the legislation’s introduction.
Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008
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