Legislators talk Big Box store legislation

MARQUETTE — For over two years, State Senator John Kivela says he’s been working on getting a bill into the house that would help local governments and municipalities deal with the tax loopholes that big box stores are currently using to appeal their taxes to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Kivela and State Senator Tom Casperson introduced House Bill 4909 and Senate Bill 524 late Thursday afternoon. Both bills address different issues involving the way stores appeal their taxes based on the big box, dark store loopholes that still exists.

These bills would eliminate those loopholes.

“The bill that I introduced deals with the negative use deed restrictions that are being placed on these big box stores and really controlling the zoning and communities,” said Kivela. “The bottom line is that it’s all about fairness. We all have to pay fair share of taxes. Right now the big box stores are not and it’s hurting our communities. We intend to stop it.”

“In a simplistic term, it’s trying to accomplish a standard or guideline by which the (Michigan) Tax Tribunal can make their rulings or judgments on how they’re going to go about this because that’s where we’re off the rails right now,” said Casperson.

“All we’re simply saying is that if you’re going to tax, which we know we are because local taxes are a necessity for our local municipal governments, that taxation must be fair across the board. How to look at it and assess it must be crystal clear,” added Casperson.

You can read more about Thursday’s bills by clicking HERE.

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