Reason for the tax break


I’ve enclosed a copy of an email I sent to the director of the Michigan Tax Commission. I’d like other folks to read the letter. I hope you’ll print it.

Mr. Sobel,

I read in the Iron County Reporter on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, that the tax commission of which you are the director, gave Great Lake Pipeline and ANR Pipeline, a 60 percent reduction on taxes due to Iron County. I want to know the reason for the tax break. Iron County is broke and depressed and cannot afford a 3 percent cut in its yearly revenue. Our schools are hurting, our teachers grossly underpaid. There are potholes in the roads of Iron River City that might knock my fillings out as well as damage my old pickup. I’m having difficulty making ends meet, and I know that many, many folks are hurting way worse than me – way!

Are the pipeline companies having a hard time? Have they been granted the same tax breaks in other Michigan counties? Is pipeline maintenance too costly for the stretch of pipeline that passes through Iron County? How much did you spend on maintenance for Iron County? How many employees do you have in Iron County? Are you active in Iron County public activities? What are your charitable contributions to Iron County? I ask this only because I know the generosity of our citizens, some of whom cannot really afford the gifts they make. I guess I’m asking, “Are you part of our community?”

Lots of folks around here could use a tax break. Sure, for some of us it would be a convenience, but for many, I think it’s because they’re breaking or broke.

I would like to read the minutes of the meeting or meetings, during which the tax breaks were discussed, and the money decisions were made.

Ted Kagy

Iron River