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Besser, city tax agreement reached

June 20, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - An agreement in a tax tribunal case involving the City of Alpena and Besser Company has been reached. The company disputed its assessed value and the amount it would pay in city taxes for the last three years, and as a result, the city has agreed to reimburse more than $100,000 including interest.

Alpena Clerk/Treasurer Karen Hebert said the issue began several years ago when Besser looked into its assessed value after the most recent recession and believed it was too high. The city disagreed, and the issue went before the tribunal, which proposed a settlement, and now the city has agreed to it and Besser is reviewing.

"We agreed to the proposed consent agreement, signed it, and sent it to them," Hebert said. "It will cost the city about $33,000 for years 2010, 2011 and 2012."

The city won't be the only one to suffer from the lowering taxes. Because Besser paid the taxes for the years in question, entities such as schools, the hospital, and the county's Older Person's and Youth and Recreation Millage committees also will have to pay back what was paid to them prior.

"Every taxing entities will have to pay back $127,000 a year for what Besser paid. That is how much Besser will save for each year," Hebert said. "In terms of what the city owes, we will have to take the money for the first two years out of the fund balance, and for 2012 it depends if the assessor has lowered the tax role for them yet. If he hasn't, then we will probably take the money from the budget through an amendment."

Hebert said for 2012 the Besser property was assessed at $8,925,000 by the city, and the taxable value was set at $4,162,000. The agreement would lower it to a true cash value to $3,925,000 with a taxable value of $1,962,000 for the year 2012.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5689.



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