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Fight over big-box store taxes back in Michigan Legislature

Mar 25, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Municipalities that are collecting substantially lower property taxes than they used to from big-box stores must overcome opposition from business interests and their allies in the Legislature to tilt the tax assessing system back in favor of local governments.

  The retailers have been successfully reducing their tax bills in the Michigan Tax Tribunal since 2010, when the administrative court began agreeing that the real estate should be compared to "dark," or vacant, structures for tax purposes. Bipartisan legislation reintroduced in the House would restore fairness to the property tax appeals system, supporters says.

  The bill won approval in the GOP-led House last year, 97-11, only to die in the Republican-controlled Senate.

  Opponents include the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and groups representing retailers and manufacturers.