HB 4397 — Re-Introduces Dark Store Curbs

Dark Stores are back in the news again for Michigan Legislature 2017 season. This is still an issue plaguing our state with devastating effects on and local municipal budgets. The question is: How many services can we cut to meet balanced budgets? How long can people do without full-service municipalities?

David Maturen,  current Vice-Chair of the House Tax Policy Committee, is the primary sponsor of HB 4397 . According to Michigan Township Association, “House Bill 4397 addresses the ongoing crisis of the “Dark Store” property tax appeals issue involving the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Specifically, the bill would require Tax Tribunal members to apply standard appraisal procedures when reaching their findings of facts and conclusions of law in larger property tax cases. The bill is a reintroduction of legislation that was approved in the state House of Representatives in June 2016 by a 97-11 margin.”

The Michigan Municipal League (MML),  Michigan Townships Association (MTA), and  Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) all support this legislation. Check out more of the latest news on this issue via links below:

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, MI – More than $400,000 in annual revenue for the public purse is at stake in a Spectrum Health dispute before the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A battle pitting big-box retail giants including Menards and Wal-Mart against Wisconsin towns and cities is headed to the Legislature. Republican-backed proposals, written in conjunction with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, are designed to close the so-called dark store loophole and increase how much the mega-retailers pay local communities in property taxes.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is wading into a hot legal dispute over how to value big-box stores for tax purposes. Values lately have been controversial in Michigan, especially in the Upper Peninsula where communities have been forced to give significant tax refunds based on decisions by the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

For a ‘refresher’ or more in-depth introduction to this issue, please go to the “Boxed In” documentary on the events leading up to the June 2016 passage in the MI House. This video was created by Dr. Dwight Brady and his Advanced Multimedia Journalism class at Northern Michigan University.

Call your MI Representative and those members of the House Tax Policy Committee and express your concerns and wishes for a speedy passage.

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