Property Tax Valuations & Businesses

The issue of property tax valuations is a familiar one to most people in North Dakota. I came across this article about the situation in Michigan through a tweet. It is about a month old but it raises some interesting questions. The focus of the debate in North Dakota, as far as I ever heard, has been property taxes paid by individual homeowners. In Michigan businesses are challenging valuations, winning, and the local areas are dealing with revenue shortfalls as a result.

The article mentions numerous examples, but I find one thing missing from the overall picture. Were the big box stores given any tax breaks to locate in these areas at the outset? It would be an interesting coincidence that they challenge an appraisal after other tax reductions expire. Like I said, that information is not included in the story so I do not want engage in too much speculation.

What this ultimately speaks to is the necessity to be more careful in all kinds of valuations of property, be cautious about incentives/tax breaks provided to businesses locating or expanding in an area, and run alternative budget scenarios based on potential outcomes so you are less likely to be caught short, or have a contingency to deal with the issue.

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