The House Tax Policy committee today reported House Bill 5578 with a bi-partisan 11-2 vote. Following multiple committee hearings spanning the past six months, today’s positive committee vote had been anticipated, based upon the amount of work done by the sponsor and local government advocates.
As the committee vice-chair, Rep. Dave Maturen was able to draw upon his extensive appraisal background to educate the members of the committee on the dark store problem and develop the language in the proposal, in conjunction with help from the League and numerous local government organizations and officials.
The language in HB 5578 provides very simple guidance to the Michigan Tax Tribunal that aligns directly with the existing, accepted methods of valuation that all assessors are trained to follow. This proactive acknowledgement of the three standard methods of valuation, coupled with language that restricts the Tribunal from accepting self-imposed deed restrictions as a true sales comparison are designed to restore balance to the decisions of the Tribunal and ensure that these decisions are based on the best data available.
We need your help to ensure that this bill will be voted on by the full House! The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Retailers Association are aggressively opposing this bill and contacting Representatives and Senators in an attempt to block further action on the bill. They claim that the only problem is uneducated local assessors who are over-assessing these large retailers.
Their direct message to legislators is; “Local governments are trying to legitimize their over-assessments and lack of persuasive evidence before the MTT by making scapegoats out of job providers who have successfully challenged their over-assessments and the MTT.” Your involvement and personal contact with your Representative and Senator are the only way to counteract these attacks and ensure that this critical legislation moves before the Legislature recesses for the summer. Please contact your State Representative and Senator today to urge their support for HB 5578!
For further information about the bill and the previous committee testimony, please review these Inside 208 articles – “New Dark Stores Solution…” and “Michigan Municipal League Members Testify…“. Or visit the League’s Dark Stores Information Page.
Chris Hackbarth is director of state affairs for the League. He can be reached at email@example.com and 517-908-0304.