A deal that would give Detroit an $800 million boost advanced last week when the City Council approved a measure to create a tax-free zone at the Detroit Medical Center to pave the way for a for-profit health care group to take over the hospital.

The enterprise zone is a key piece of a deal that would allow the Nashville-based Vanguard Health System Inc. to buy the nonprofit DMC and spend $850 million on upgrades, including $800 million for the Detroit campus. City officials said it would be the largest investment in the ailing city in years.

DMC is Michigan’s largest safety-net health-care provider. Last Tuesday the City Council voted to create a 100-acre renaissance zone surrounding the eight-hospital campus. The measure exempts Vanguard from paying most city, county, and state taxes for 12 years.

A Michigan board and Macomb County must also sign off on the tax-free zone. The Wayne County Board of Commissioners has already approved the move. The council also approved setting up a citizen’s oversight committee to monitor Vanguard and its commitment to providing charity care. State Attorney General Mike Cox is reviewing the legality of the proposed purchase.

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