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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

McBroom Takes Aim at Big Box Tax Challenges

As the city of Houghton’s battle with Walmart over the store’s property taxes heats up, Republican state Senator Ed McBroom is making another run at adjusting state law to clarify how such stores should be assessed.

McBroom’s proposed legislation would start by moving such disputes out of the jurisdiction of the state Tax Tribunal…

The Tax Tribunal judges don’t have necessarily the level of training or expertise in the law that one would expect when they go to a court.

Challenges involving major facilities would, instead, be heard in circuit court…

Where our judges have law degrees, understand how to look through all of the case precedents and make determinations in a fair way.

McBroom says he thinks the law regarding big box assessments is clear, and that higher courts have generally decided appeals in favor of municipalities…

They’ve tried to dictate to the Tribunal how this should be handled, and the tribunal has not exactly been able to handle that responsibility very well.

McBroom’s legislation is in the early stages of introduction, and will need to be reviewed by committees in both the Senate and the House. He’s hoping Governor Gretchen Whitmer will support it.

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