State Senator Tom Casperson and State Representative John Kivela have been working together on a couple of “dark store” bills for the last couple of months, getting them vetted for constitutionality and for their effectiveness in generating tax revenue.
The bills are aimed at softening the effects of Tax Tribunal rulings that allow thriving box stores to be taxed at the same rate as closed-down, abandoned box stores. The rulings have grossly reduced tax revenues for some communities here in Marquette County and are having an impact on community services.
So Kivela, a Democrat, and Casperson, a Republican, have been very publicly going through the tedious process of getting their bipartisan legislation crafted just right in hopes of getting it introduced to both houses in the next week or two.
But then, without notifying his two U.P. colleagues, neighboring State Representative Scott Dianda, a Democrat, introduced his own “dark store” legislation last week.”