Mining Severance Tax Legal Questions

The Marquette County Board decides to go it alone tonight in seeking legal advice about the proposed severance tax on mining operations.

Last week, the County Board voted to hire the Detroit law firm Miller Canfield to answer several questions related to the potential tax change.

One of those questions is the disputed $191 million dollar value of the Eagle Mine site.

Last week, the board voted to ask Rio Tinto to pay $3,000 to $5,000 of the legal cost, which will be $25,000 at most.

But some board members have changed their minds.

They voted tonight to have the county pay the entire cost itself.

Commissioner Mike Quayle said he was in favor last week of pursuing some of the cost from Rio Tinto, but he said that after speaking with constituents, he’d just as soon forget about doing that.

Commissioner Gerry Corkin also says it would likely be easier for the county to pay the entire cost.

Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO Amy Clickner also reported to the board tonight on how many businesses the group has met with lately.

The county’s goal for the LSCP is to meet with 150 per year.

She says the Partnership met with 228 clients last year, and through the end of August, it had 194 client meetings this year.