Dark Store / Big Box Retail Assessment Legislation Introduced

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Dene Westbrook

Two pieces of legislation were introduced this week that would help communities facing tax assessment appeals by big box retailers.  The League has been working closely with bill sponsors, State Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) and State Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette) to craft Senate Bill 524 and House Bill 4909 and soliciting bi-partisan support from the rest of the Upper Peninsula delegation, including State Reps. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) and Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), and many others.  These two bills are modeled on legislation recently passed and signed into law in Indiana and are aimed at clarifying true cash value determinations.  The legislation defines large-scale commercial retail property and the circumstances under which similar large-scale commercial properties can be used for sales comparison purposes.  The legislation also excludes consideration of some negative use deed restrictions from the sales comparison calculation as the trend grows by retailers using these types of deed restrictions to appeal their assessments claiming that these self-imposed deed restrictions have lowered the value of their property.

The League is working in conjunction with the Michigan Association of Counties and the Michigan Townships Association to advocate for this legislation.  The bills have been referred to the Senate Finance and House Tax Policy committees, respectively.  We are working with those committees to secure hearings on the legislation in the near future.

Please let your legislators know how important it is to address this issue and let us know if you have any questions.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and [email protected].


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