Casperson welcomes Escanaba officials to Capitol for ‘dark store’ case in Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Casperson welcomed officials from the city of Escanaba to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday as the city makes its case in the Michigan Supreme Court against the so-called “dark store” loophole.

“It is a matter of fundamental fairness that big box stores are treated the same as small, locally owned stores,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “It was an honor to welcome Mayor Tall and all the officials from Escanaba to the Capitol and recognize them during Senate session. I applaud them for their efforts in prosecuting this case to end the dark store loophole and ensure fairness for all local property owners, and I am hopeful the Supreme Court will affirm the Michigan Court of Appeals decision that saw the inequity of this practice.”

Escanaba is challenging the ability of a home improvement chain store to use a “dark store” loophole to reduce its property taxes. The loophole enables big box stores to appeal their property tax assessment to the Michigan Tax Tribunal that can then use the value of nearby vacant stores to determine the assessment, which adversely and unfairly impacts revenues to fund schools, libraries, programs for seniors, public safety departments and public transit agencies.

Casperson has introduced legislation to address the loophole issue.

Senate Bill 578 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.


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