Dow Chemical tax appeal nearing its end

MIDLAND — After nearly a decade of legal action and budget uncertainty, the Midland City Council is poised to consider a $35 million settlement with Dow Chemical Co. over its property tax appeals.
The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 333 W. Ellsworth.
Dow’s appeals have loomed since 1997. If council members approve the deal, it would end all tax appeal issues with Dow and cancel hearings before the Michigan Tax Tribunal, which postponed a meeting Wednesday in light of the pending settlement.
Under the agreement, Dow would reap a 19 percent reduction in real and personal property taxes, said City Manager Jon Lynch.
In addition to the tax reductions, Dow would receive refunds from:
* The state, $15.3 million.
* City of Midland, $9 million.
* Midland County, $5.6 million.
* Midland Public Schools, $2.6 million.
* Delta College, $1.7 million.
* Midland County Educational Service Agency, $800,000.
The city would pay its settlement from a reserve fund it set aside specifically for tax appeal refunds. Midland has saved money each year in preparation for potential refunds.
Council members have said any money they don’t use will return to taxpayers.
“We’re happy to be at a point where the council can consider action to bring this tax appeal to conclusion,” Lynch said. He called the negotiations and outcome a “positive one for both sides.”
David Dupre, vice president of Dow’s Michigan Operations, said the proposed settlement is “in the best interest of both parties.”
He said the deal makes Midland more attractive to Dow businesses looking to expand or build facilities, he said.

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