Tax court ruled in favor of Walmart



A judgment has been handed down in the Bad Ax City Tax Court case against Walmart, and it looks like it’s going to last a bit longer.

In a final opinion and judgment on September 27, the Michigan Tax Tribunal ruled that the state-matched value and assessed value of the Walmart Superstore in Bad Ax for 2019 was $ 2.135 million each, which represents a reduction of more than 50% from its previous value. .

The value of the two before this decision was $ 4.329 million each. As a result, the court ruled that Bad Ax should refund the tax money to Walmart plus interest for the 2019 tax year and subsequent years. City Manager Rob Stiverson said the interest component will depend on the date of the final verdict, including appeals.

“The city of Bad Ax would not be the only entity having to repay tax revenues,” Stiverson said. “Huron County (multiple departments), Bad Ax Town, Huron Middle School District, Bad Ax School District, Bad Ax District Library and State Department of Education should all repay tax revenue with interest. ”

Stiverson said the city expects to lose in the judgment but expects to win in the appeal process.

The city council unanimously voted to appeal the decision, which must be filed within 21 days from the date of entry of the final decision.

“The way I see it, you have to fight with what you can fight with,” Mayor Kathleen Particka said at the Bad Ax city council meeting this week.

Stiverson said the appeal process could take years and increase the amount of interest owed if Walmart is successful.

The city has so far incurred $ 66,299.13 in attorney and appraiser fees in connection with this lawsuit, which has been ongoing since 2019.

Stiverson previously said Walmart advocated using the dark store concept in how locations are taxed, saying operating businesses should be treated the same as closed stores.

The Walmart appraiser used a figure of $ 35 per square foot to determine the appraised value of the building, which would be 25% less than the $ 45 per square foot that the Bad Ax appraiser used to determine the appraised value.

The town of Escanaba on the Upper Peninsula is the subject of a similar appeal process against that of Menard, where it won in the state Court of Appeal.

Stiverson had contacted the Huron County Board of Commissioners, the Bad Ax District Library, Bad Ax Public Schools, HISD and the State Education Fund for help in the matter. While Stiverson has garnered support from the library and county, including commissioners agreeing to cover attorney and appraiser fees, he has not heard from HISD, the Bad Ax Schools, or the National Fund. for education.

Lost tax revenue could affect services that depend on it, such as Bad Ax Public Schools, Bad Ax District Library, Huron County Road Commission and HISD.



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