The Marquette City Commission approved legal counsel in response to Marquette General Hospital’s tax valuation challenge.
When MGH became a for-profit institution, the city had its property appraised, and the hospital is protesting that appraisal.
The taxes in question amount to about $200,000.
“This will go to a tax tribunal at the state, the city will basically have to fight that case to maintain the appraisal we came up with,” Commissioner Don Ryan said. “This special counsel is a counsel that has experience in these areas, dealing with the tax tribunal. It will be a pretty expensive undertaking, but it’s something that we really have no choice to do.”
Hiring legal counsel is estimated to be around $100,000 for the city. In total, the city could lose between $300,000 and $400,000.
The commission was not pleased with the way the hospital brought up the tax valuation issue, and said it is not a good way to build community relations.
“They threw us under the bus, and this is what we have to deal with now,” City of Marquette Mayor Johnny DePetro said. “I know how everyone (on the commission) feels, and I believe the residents and other communities are also going to have to go through this that are probably associated with ALP, and I’m not saying we’re the only community that’s going to be going through this.”
Commissioner Ryan said there is no timeline for when the process would be complete, or what, if any, adjustments would be made to the city’s budget.