Equalization director shouldn’t be speculating

Responding to the new Director of Equalization report last month to the Alpena commissioners’ full board meeting, I found it disappointing. Speculation of the real estate market improving is not for him to speculate. Truth in Taxation should be the number one interest and availability to have the correct appraisals of the True Cash Values.

His reference to Matthew Gast exemptions is misleading; MCL 211.27 is Michigan Complied Law in which (shall) be followed by all who are certified by the State Tax Commission. This law has allowed people to buy run down houses and receive tax abatements for several years and not be unnecessarily taxed when improving the neighborhood which could increase the values. Many tax abatements given to businesses, Renaissance Zones; DDA.TIFA’s and on and on, is costs that should also have been mentioned along with the poverty exemptions. I find it disrespecting and disturbing that those things were left out.

Wellington Township had the highest residential value according to his accounting. The reason for this is deceiving; more than half of the township is Non-Homestead. Farm land is the second largest acreage under residential classification and not being under agriculture class for tax evasion purposes is creating appraisal discrepancy. Ag 101 class that has considerable acreage jumped in value considerably and that is another whole page in this paper some day in the future I hope.

There are many discrepancies in Wellington, Township that have not been addressed since Prop A became law. Property tax law has been bypassed by elected, appointed individuals in local, county and state that is affecting every millage and project in the county but most of all our school districts.

Paul J. Wolne