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Escanaba Daily Press Newspaper Archives Aug 14 2015, Page 1

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Escanaba Daily Press (Newspaper) - August 14, 2015, Escanaba, MichiganDaily 14, 2015www.dailypress.net 75 cent Escanaba Mich. Your local news Leader vol. 107 no. 133 Good afternoon tim Zimmerman thank you for subscribing to the daily press d e a the Scheck us out online in s id e classified 3-5b news 3a,5a,7a comics 2b lifestyles 6a opinion 4a obituaries 5a sports 1b,6b local stores jump on tax loophole by Ilsa Matthes Escanaba the City of Escanaba is preparing for More costs and Legal Battles after a number of businesses looking to take advantage of a dark store tax loophole filed Michi Gan tax tribunal cases against the City. Were also working with legislators to have a Bill introduced to fix it and close the Loop Hole. This originally if youll recall began with the big Box stores. Just looking at this list you can see that its boiling Over into other uses said City manager Jim Ottoole during a work session thursday. The loophole allows businesses to Challenge their current taxable values by being treated As dark stores or stores that sit empty. The argument from these businesses is their buildings Are single use and because of that have less value than half of the Cost of construction the usual method used to determine taxable value. The Issue is complicated by deed restrictions added to properties that limit How those prop erties can be used if the deed is transferred to a new owner. The practice is common among retail businesses that want to prevent competitors from moving into their buildings if the business closes but the restrictions reduce the value of vacant properties used for Market comparisons. Escanaba was first hit with the effects of a Michigan tax tribunal ruling on the Issue last year when menards was awarded a $121,000 tax refund from the City. According to Ottoole thatus roughly the same amount As the City had budgeted for major Road repair this year. The menards Case is currently being appealed but new businesses in Escanaba Are attempting to have their property values reassessed. Currently the City is working on cases with Auto zone Oriley Auto parts and the Escanaba country club. The Golf course is going to need an appraisal done by somebody outside of me if this goes to trial said City assessor Daina Norden explaining that Golf courses require specialized knowledge to appraise and the Cost of an appraisal is expected to be $8,500. For Auto zone and Oriley Auto parts the City is anticipating attorneys fees Between $10,000 to $15,000, and appraisals for both businesses around $10,000. Norden will be making a formal request to increase her attorney and appraisal budget to $58,000 at the next regular City Council meeting. I dont expect to have to spend that much Money for these cases said Norden explain see stores on Page 7a at a glance local businesses seeking to take advantage of a dark store tax loophole or seeking to have their property reassessed include menards Auto zone Oriley Auto parts Escanaba country club Delta Plaza mall Kmart up health systems tractor Supply and Shopkow. The loophole allows businesses to Challenge their current taxable values by being treated As dark stores or stores that sit empty. The argument from these businesses is their buildings Are single use and because of that have less value than half of the Cost of construction the usual method used to determine taxable value. Meth lab suspects arraigned Ilsa Matthes Escanaba four people were arraigned thursday on charges related to an Active meth lab discovered in Escanaba wednesday morning. Sara Lynn Lalonde 31, James Edward Davidson 38, Jessica to Sarasin 25, and Robert Harley Davidson 37, Are charged in connection with the lab. James David son is from 2216 Plymouth Sorren to Road in Apopka Fla. The other suspects All lived in the building where the lab was discovered at 1723 3rd ave. North. Court Docu ments indicate the suspects lived in apartment four. Lalonde faces one count of con trolled substance operating main Taining a lab involving methamphetamine. James Davidson faces one count of controlled substance operating maintaining a lab involving methamphetamine one count of soliciting another to maintain Ephedrine pseudo Ephedrine and one count attempted controlled sub stance delivery manufacture methamphetamine ecstacy. Sarasin faces one count of controlled sub stance operating maintaining a lab involving methamphetamine and one count of Ephedrine Pseu do Ephedrine Purchase Possession to make methamphetamine. Robert Davidson faces one count of con trolled substance operating main Taining a lab involving methamphetamine. Escanaba Public safety officers were dispatched shortly after 11 . Wednesday to the apartment building after an unusual odor was detected coming from an apartment. Officers found a Strong chemical order emitting from the apartment when they arrived on scene and began speaking with one of the apartments occupants. The apartment was evacuated by police when they observed an Active meth lab and heard a hissing sound characteristic of manufacturing meth. The rest of the building was also evacuated and 3rd Avenue North was closed from Stephenson Avenue to North 19th Street. See meth on Page 7a summer Camp Holly Richer daily press today is the last Day of summer Camp for youth in the Camp Harstad program. For their last weekly Field trip the group visited Ludington Park on thursday afternoon. Above Katelyn Willette is All smiles As she plays on Harbor hideout playground. After vis iting the Park the group headed to the Northern lights Myca Delta program Center for time in the Pool. The eight week Camp for children with special needs is provided by the Myca and rotary club of Escanaba. Esky Council looks at Power proposal by Ilsa Matthes Escanaba the Escanaba City Council and electrical advisory committee has much to say about a Bill that could connect the Power grids of the upper Peninsula and lower Penin Sula. The Bill was a major topic of discussion during a special joint meeting held wednesday. We went through the Bill line item by line item to discuss some changes that we thought would improve the Bill but we thought that much More work was needed on the Bill said City manager Jim Ottoole. Senate Bill 282 was introduced last april and is designed to allow the . Access to Power produced in the rest of the state rather than relying on Power generated in Wisconsin. However the City had a number of issues including concerns that creating a transmission zone encompassing both Peninsulas a snot been studied or proven to be beneficial to residents of either Peninsula. Other concerns varied from who would be required to pay for transmission lines Protection of documents submitted to a newly created Michigan electric infrastructure Board from Freedom of information act requests and the Michigan Public service commissions ability to overrule local Laws and ordinances on the place ment of transmission lines if the commission Grants an expedited siting certificate. The two groups also discussed the future of a possible Sale of the Escanaba Power Plant to Ster Ling Energy. The Plant itself was recently shut Down. Were waiting to see How the Sterling Energy corporate restructuring ended up and that once their dust settled should they Call we will resume discussions but until then were at a wait and see said Ottoole. During the meeting the Council also gave authority to the City attorney to file a lawsuit against two Coal suppliers Alpha Coal company and upper great lakes Coal. The suit stems from the Cit yes Purchase of a set amount of Coal but according to Ottoole the amount received was less than had been agreed upon. Things to know about social Security at 80 overhaul time Washington a social Security turns 80 today and the massive retirement and disability program is showing its age. Social Security yes disability fund is projected to run dry next year. The retirement fund has enough Money to pay full benefits until 2035. But once the fund is depleted the Short Falls Are projected to be enormous. The stakes Are huge nearly 60 million retirees disabled workers spouses and children get monthly social Security payments and that number is projected to grow to 90 million Over the next two decades. And the timing is bad social Security faces these problems As fewer employers Are offering traditional pensions forcing older work ers to think hard about How they will afford retirement. This is a program thatus been immensely popular since it began said Nancy Leamond executive vice president of Harp. Increasingly people recognize that saving for retirement is becoming harder and harder and social Security is becoming even More important. President Franklin Delano Roo Sevelt signed the social Security act on aug. 14, 1935. Here Are things to know about the Federal governments largest program on its 80th birthday Why is social Security at risk social Security yes Long term Finan Cial problems Are largely a result of demographic changes. Every Day about 10,000 people in the . Turn 65. These Are the baby Boomers. Typical Boomers however did not have As Many children As their parents did. As a result relatively fewer workers Are left to pay the payroll taxes that support social Security. In 1960, there were More than five workers for every person receiving social Security. Today there Are fewer than three. In 20 years there will be about two workers for every person getting benefits. Americans Are also living longer. In 1940, someone who was 65 could be expected to live about 14 More years on average. Today they can expect to live an additional 20 years on average. Benefits last year social Security paid benefits of nearly $850 billion about a Quarter of All Federal spend ing. The average monthly payment is $1,221. That comes to about $14,700 a year. For most retirees social Security accounts for the majority of their income according to the social Sec see overhaul on Page 7a Lavergne Doneau Escanaba. Audrey c. Landis rapid River. Margaret Ann Crnich Unger Lone tree Colo. Page 5a

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