McBroom concerned over Whitmer appointee with troubling ‘dark store’ past

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ed McBroom on Friday expressed concern over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent reappointment of Victoria Enyart to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

As a member of the Advice and Consent Committee, McBroom is requesting a hearing on the appointment.

“Ms. Enyart has served on the state’s tax tribunal for several years and she has a record that must be taken into account,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “During her time on the tribunal, Enyart has established a troubling pattern of devaluing the property of big box stores. The tax tribunal has accepted faulty reasoning for the property tax of big businesses across Michigan, and not only does it result in an unfair advantage of not paying their share, the revenue reduction puts undue stress on governments trying to supply services like fire protection to their residents.”

The devaluing method used by big box retailers, referred to as the dark store loophole, seeks to lower the amount the retailers pay in property taxes.

“Local governments are already facing serious budget concerns, and these types of property tax decisions that favor big box stores have bigger consequences — they starve the U.P. of vital funding needed to keep our communities safe and educate our children,” McBroom said. “I share in the concern of so many U.P. residents and small business owners who have already reached out to me, and I am requesting a hearing on Gov. Whitmer’s appointment.”

Enyart, who is from Jackson, in the Lower Peninsula, was reappointed by Whitmer to represent certified level IV assessors for a term beginning Aug. 17, 2020 and expiring June 30, 2024. Her appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

According to the governor’s office, the Michigan Tax Tribunal is an administrative court that hears tax appeals for all Michigan taxes. Most of the tribunal’s appeals involve property tax; however, it also hears business and individual tax disputes.

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