Keweenaw Bureau News

The Houghton County Board of Commissioners is coming under fire by a local citizen over its handling of an erred property assessment.

Schoolcraft Township resident Sam Buschel explained that in 2009, several properties in his area were incorrectly assessed and that mistake, he says, has led to an increase in taxes for those home owners. Buschel said when he appeared to address the board about the issue last month…he was surprised by his reception.

Buschel said he was able to get the mistake on his property fixed but he doesn’t believe the county has done enough to solve the problem. Commissioner Dennis Barrette said legally it was up to the individual residents to go to the state board of review to ask for a correction.

The Board said they would look into the legality of changing the assessments. Buschel charged that the resistance to fixing the problem was due to something other than legal questions. A meeting was proposed by the board between Buschel and Commissioner Barrette to try and resolve the issue.


Houghton County government employees are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Board of Commissioners voted to opt out of a state bill that would have drastically changed their health care benefits.

Senate Bill Number 7…signed by Governor Rick Snyder…required local governmental units to choose between capping the total amount of medical payouts or to require a 20 percent contribution from employees.

The bill contained a provision for the county to opt out of the cuts with at least a two-thirds vote from the board. The vote to opt out of the bill was unanimous.