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Oscoda Wurtsmith Airport Authority - Local Development Finance Authority


Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority (OWAA)


After the 1993 closing of Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority (OWAA or the Airport Authority) was established to assume ownership and operating responsibilities for the airfield - - along with an extensive inventory of aircraft maintenance facilities and industrial support buildings. The Airport Authority is a local government partnership. The Charter Township of Oscoda is one of five incorporating municipalities that make-up OWAA. The other four partners include Iosco County, Alcona County, the Charter Township of AuSable and Greenbush Township.

OWAA was established during 1994 as a municipal corporation. The Airport Authority’s principal source of operating revenue is generated from leasing out former military buildings. OWAA did not receive any form of scheduled or recurring revenue from the collection of local or state property taxes until 2016. Therefore, the Airport has been operating successfully as a self-sufficient business enterprise -- - as it relates to paying for general operating expenses. The Airport Authority has also been relatively successful with securing state and federal government grants to assist with costs for completing major capital repair and improvement projects. 



During 2010 a study was conducted of airfield pavement conditions, building repair needs, roads, parking lots and storm drains. The study findings recognize and confirm that preparing for long-term care of the Airport’s aging infrastructure will be a financial challenge. Therefore, securing additional sources of funding was pursued in order to allow the Airport Authority to more efficiently implement major capital maintenance and improvement projects - - over the long-term. 

At that time, the Wurtsmith properties were being reutilized by 35 businesses / agencies that collectively employed approximately 1,465 workers. In recognition of the jobs being created and economic benefits being achieved among the Wurtsmith businesses, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Charter Township of Oscoda helped secure designation of Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport properties as a tax increment capture district. This designation was established in accordance with Michigan Public Act 281 of 1986 which has since been replaced by the State’s ‘Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act’ (P.A. 57 of 2018). In accordance with the cited Public Acts, the Charter Township of Oscoda established ‘Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport – Local Development Finance Authority’ (OWA-LDFA or the Authority). As such, OWA-LDFA serves as an instrumentality of the Township. The ‘Authority’ is overseen by an 11 person ‘Board of Trustees’. In accordance with provisions of cited Public Act, OWA-LDFA now captures an economic growth portion of property taxes being collected from businesses operating within the Airport. That economic growth portion of the tax base is also known as the ‘Tax Increment’

Tax Increment Finance and Development Plan

OWA-LDFA has developed a Tax Increment Finance and Development Plan which has been adopted by Charter Township of Oscoda. That document provides further details regarding the purposes and plans for utilizing tax increment revenue. 


Quick Reference


Date OWA-LDFA Was EstablishedNovember 12, 2012
Date Tax Increment Finance and Development Plan AdoptedNovember 11, 2013
Tax Year Utilized as the Baseline / Initial taxable Value2013
Tax Year From Which Tax Increment Revenue Was First Captured 2015
The Date the Authority Began Capturing Tax Increment RevenueApril, 2016
Scheduled Final Year For Tax Increment Capture2027


In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, familial status, sexual orientation, and reprisal.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410. Or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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