Tag Archives: David Maturen

It’s Here – HB 5578! Let’s Close That Loophole!


Screen Shot Maturen Release-5578

Finally,  a bill that actually will get a hearing in committee after 3 years of trying by our state legislators. Possibly the workshop and support from legislators in the Lower Peninsula of MI made the difference. House Bill 5578 is sponsored by Representative David Maturen, R-Brady Twp., near Kalamazoo and Scott Dianda- D from Calumet.

 “The Michigan Tax Tribunal, in recent decisions, has taken into account sales of ‘dark stores’ — vacant structures that most often have deed restrictions — when determining the assessed value of fully functional big box retail stores,” said Rep. Maturen. “This legislation eliminates the ‘dark store’ loophole, and creates fair policies that will be used for all assessment disputes heard by the entire Tax Tribunal.”

Representative John Kivela – D, Marquette along with Senator Tom Casperson- R have twice sponsored legislation in the last few years. “I want to thank Rep. Maturen for introducing HB 5578, while also thanking all of those who participated alongside me in the workgroup which helped lead to the development of this legislation,”
said Kivela. “This bill creates a level playing field for local governments when arguing cases at the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Screen Shot_MaturenBill-5578

According to a summary of the highlights the, “Legislation would amend the Tax Policy and add a new section that would require that Tribunal Members independently make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law in their opinion regarding: the market for the property under appeal, the  highest and best use of the property in its market, require consideration of all methods of value including the income method, the sales method, the cost method and the assessment method.”

Municipal League MI Tax Tribunal Overview document linked in our Resources page outlines these three recommended methods for “highest and best use.”

Here’s hoping that Dave Maturen’s workgroup and Scott Dianda’s support will prove the old adage: “third time’s a charm” and we can get this done! Please continue to contact your legislators to let them know you want it done, too.

Download the legislation HB 5578: 2016-HIB-5578
Download a summary of the highlight of this legislation:  Maturen Tax Bill info


‘Dark Store’ Problems – Are They Listening?

In his Word on the Street blog this week [12-12-15], Brian Cabell reports that MI Representative John Kivela “…noticed a remarkable and encouraging change in attitude in Lansing on the ‘dark store’ issue. Legislators who had previously dismissed the issue are now acknowledging there might be a problem. The Municipal League and realtors, and even the Chamber of Commerce have testified before the Tax Policy Committee in the last few days conceding that something might have to be done.” Kivela’s cautionary forecast is that new  “…bill or bills [will be] introduced in the legislature by spring, with bipartisan support, and possibly passage by summer.”  Here’s some of what has happened this past week in Lansing…

The Marquette Mining Journal also reported [12-11-15] on the Tax Policy Progress  that took place during a second hearing focusing on the ‘dark store’ rulings at the Tax Policy Committee of the Michigan House Wednesday [12-9-15].  Progress was made toward finding a solution, said David Maturen,  a Republican state representative serving the 63rd District and majority vice-chairman of the committee.
“We’re trying to find some common ground to get us back to what I perceive is a correct approach in valuing property,” he said. “We just want a level playing field for not only assessors, but also property owners.” Representative Maturen is heading up a work group to do just this. See his recent interview with Battle Creek station WBCK.

Marquette County Commissioner Joe Derocha presented the committee with 2,000 signatures from concerned citizens supporting a legislative fix. [thanks to all who signed the recent Move On.org petition sponsored by Marquette County Citizens for Fair Share]

Many others from Counties across Michigan spoke at the hearing, as well, and noted the budget shortfalls felt across the board. Van Buren County speakers testified that MI Tax Tribunal rulings resulted in %50 of Market Value for their ‘big box’ stores, while the same stores in neighboring Wisconsin are holding at full Market Value. This is causing revenue losses of almost $1M. Van Buren ISD Superintendent spoke to these losses as greatly affecting students, especially in the area of Special Education, those most in need of services. “Every $1M lost in valuation equates to $3,332 in lost special education revenue…In addition, through the process of litigation for two large companies…the price tag is not cheap.”

Oakland Cnty Study_smBusinessvsBigSpeakers from Oakland County presented a study  showing that small business owners’ property taxes have been consistently higher than their ‘big box’ counterparts.

An attorney and an assessor from Troy argued that the ‘dark store’ basis for Tax Tribunal rulings are not closely in compliance with “Michigan’s definition of ‘true cash value’ as contained in the Michigan General Property Tax Act…”

To view/download actual transcripts of these and more hearing testimonies. Click the Testimony drop-down link on the House Tax Policy Committee.

Why Are Valuations ‘less than dirt’ ?

   Representative David Maturen speaks more on the ‘dark store’ issue on a recent radio interview:
“63rd State Rep. Dave Maturen has been charged with looking into the issue to see what changes the state might propose to the system.  It’s a complicated issue.  Businesses pay property tax based on the cost paid to buy land and build a facility.  But many are convincing the Tax Tribunal in Lansing to reduce it, based on the value of an empty, abandoned store.”

Find out: What are ‘Dark Store’ tax rulings? How do they happen? Why do they happen? What is the Tax Tribunal? — and other crucial How’s and Why’s. This excellent interview clarifies a complicated issue with authoritative intelligence. 

NOTE: Mr Maturen is currently the vice-chairman of the MI House Tax Policy Committee.  Please contact him to express your concerns and possible experiences of the effects of these cuts in your communities: David Maturen davidmaturen@house.mi.gov, or call 517-373-1787
or the House tax Policy Committee Clerk’s Office Ph: 517.373.0135 Clerk@house.mi.gov

Rep. Maturen joined WBCK’s Tim Collins on the Richard Piet Show in Battle Creek on November 30, 2015 1:21 PM. [WBCK]