County officials have taken the next step to halt an effort to set up a special district in Hartland Township that would provide a tax break for a proposed movie theater.

The Finance Committee of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners voted 5-4 this morning to recommend that the full board deny the Commercial Rehabilitation District. If commissioners vote on Monday at their regular meeting to accept the recommendation, it would stop the effort in its tracks. The Finance Committee is made up of all the county commissioners, so unless someone changes their mind, it would appear likely to be denied.

The vote came two days after a tie vote by the county’s General Government committee on a resolution of support that was being sought by the Hartland Township Board of Trustees. The tie vote denied the county’s official support for the resolution, but didn’t necessarily stop the effort from proceeding to the state’s Tax Commission. However, today’s vote is a step away from ending it.

Hartland officials had sought to establish the district on a seven acre parcel near M-59 and US-23 so that a proposed Emagine movie theater would be eligible for tax abatement. Hartland Township Manager James Wickman says they plan to present the issue at Monday’s meeting and hope the board will make a well-informed decision. However, Wickman says Emagine has said that they cannot proceed without the abatement. (JK)