Residents Protest Walmart as the Property Tax Dispute Returns to the Public Eye in Houghton County
The battle over property taxes between Walmart and the City of Houghton is expected to heat up soon. Yesterday local residents showed support for the city, by hosting a Rally Against Walmart, near the national retailer. Holding signs and picketing near the store, some residents expressed their concerns over Walmart’s Dark Store legal strategy. From the group of supporters, Hancock resident Glen Anderson, says that Walmart is the most profitable business in the county’s history.
“Every homeowner in Michigan has seen their property tax rise with the rate of inflation since 1997. Or a max of five percent. So last year, we all got a five percent raise in our taxes because of inflation. Walmart, who’s the most profitable business in Houghton County, wants to go the other way. They want to pay less for… the fire department, and police department. All of which they rely on for services. The Houghton Police Department is up here on a daily basis for assistance. And of all businesses in Houghton County, you would think they’d be the last one to say they don’t want services. Why wouldn’t they want to pay for those. It fairness to me.” – Glenn Anderson, Hancock Resident
Anderson, expressed that he joined the rally as a citizen, and not in his role as a county commissioner. Walmart is seeking to have its Houghton location’s property evaluation lowered for future property taxes, and seeks a retroactive 1.2 million dollar refund for the past six years. Recently Houghton officials note the groups are talking again, as reported by the Daily Mining Gazette last week. We hope to continue following this story as it develops.