Local government budgets will suffer another loss if appeals to State Tax Tribunal are successful
(Tuesday - September 21, 2021 - 13:34) - Local governments have been taking huge hits in recent years, as the result of decisions made by the State Tax Tribunal. In addition to declining revenue as the result of these decisions, the municipalities have in many cases been ordered to refund hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes deemed "excessive" by the tribunal.

This controversial tribunal has been extremely pro-business. While there is certainly nothing wrong with being pro-business,  the approach being taken by the tribunal is threatening the ability of local governments to provide the most basic public services.

In addition to the dozens of reductions already ordered by the tribunal to date, there are currently 13 new appeals by Dickinson County businesses, pending before the tribunal. If all of the petitions were to be granted by the tribunal, it would result in 8,382,448 less taxable property value within the four jurisdictions where appeals are currently pending.

Here are the numbers as petitioned by the individual entities;

Flagstar Bank of Iron Mountain, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $130,000 - reducing the taxable value from $830,000 to $700,000.

Iron Mountain Plaza (K-Mart Plaza), seeking a reduction in taxable value of $470,000 - reducing the taxable value from $870,000 to $470,000.

Osborne Properties (MidTown Mall), seeking a reduction in taxable value of $1,002,300 - reducing the taxable value from 3,002,300 to $2,000,000.

TBRS LLC (Americinn by Wyndham), seeking a reduction in taxable value of $279,000 - reducing the taxable value from $1,284,000 to $1,005,000.

TJM Hospitality (Days Inn), seeking a reduction in taxable value of $58,000 - reducing the taxable value from $298,000 to $240,000.

Walgreens, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $311,079 - reducing the taxable value from $911,079 to $600,000.

Walmart, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $1,660,100 - reducing the taxable value from $4,226,000 to $2,566,800.

Should all of these petitions prove successful, Iron Mountain's taxable property value would be decreased by $3,910,479.

Thomas Theater Group, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $781,400 - reducing the taxable value from $881,400 to $100,000
This is the only appeal currently before the tribunal which would impact Breitung Township.

Kingsford Broach & Tool, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $1,075,500 - reducing the taxable property value from $1,452,969 to 305,000. These figures represent appeals on two parcels of property.

Evergreen Heights, seeking a reduction $1,989,000 - reducing the taxable property value from $3,439,000 to $1,450,000. These figures represent appeals on five parcels of property.

Should all of these petitions prove successful, Kingsford's taxable property value would be decreased by $3,136,969.

Jarod Gendron, of Norway, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $99,000 - reducing the taxable property value from $165,000 to $66,000.
J&J Real Estate of Norway, seeking a reduction in taxable value of $454,000 - reducing the taxable property value from $1,004,600 to $550,000.

Should both of these petitions prove successful, Norway's taxable property value would be decreased by $553,600.

According to Iron Mountain Mayor Dale Alessandrini, these reductions make it harder for local government to provide services. While it was pointed out that these businesses are all operating within the law, several members of the Iron Mountain City Council laid the blame squarely on the City's representatives in Lansing. The Mayor said he has been in touch with them several times, but thus far there has been no change in the law.

The cities are not the only ones who will lose tax dollars. This will also have an impact on the County budget, school district budgets, health care, veterans' service office, senior citizens, roads, and county law enforcement.

The Mayor's remarks came during a discussion on the issue at the Monday meeting of the Iron Mountain City Council.