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Re: E-M:/ land protection/community service



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Enviro-Mich message from "Tom & Anne Woiwode" <woiwode@voyager.net>
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The economic theory behind conservation easements (leaving conservation out
of the discussion for the moment) is that the rights of the property owner
in the use of his/her property have been reduced.  Because of the
limitations on the property's economic use, the theoretical value of the
property has been diminished; and therefore, the property taxes should
reflect that diminished value.  Translated, they should go down.  The
Michigan Tax Tribunal agrees with that theory, and has reduced property
taxes for eased property owners when the local taxing authority refused to
honor the reduction in value.

However, be forewarned that many, many local assessors have either not
figured out how to value conservation easements, or remain hostile to the
concept; and so occasionally the property owners have to challenge their
assessments, either through the local board of review or to the Tax
Tribunal.

On the organic farm issue, you should contact Upland Hills, an educational
farm in one of the northern Detroit suburbs (Holly maybe?).  Certainly farms
with an educational component as you described can have nonprofit status.
I'm sure Upland Hills has faced the property tax issue for their farm
operations, and can outline the challenges they face in maintaining their
operations and nonprofit status.

Tom
*************************************************************************
Tom Woiwode
5088 Powell Road
Okemos, MI  48864
517.349.7182 phone
517.349.8247 fax
woiwode@voyager.net


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>From: Jonathan P Kazmierski <jkazmier@umich.edu>
>To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
>Subject: E-M:/ land protection/community service
>Date: Mon, Aug 30, 1999, 10:04 AM
>

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Jonathan P Kazmierski <jkazmier@umich.edu>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Greetings!
>
> I would like to post the following questions to the group regarding land
> protection and non-profit community service:
>
> 1. Do conservation easements in Michigan ever have the potential to
> relieve local/municipal property taxes?
>
> 2. I know someone who is interested in establishing an organic farm that
> would provide food to the local community, provide community education,
> and provide learning opportunities for those interested in organic farming
> practices.  Would this group be able to obtain non-profit status
> (non-profit is their objective)? Would non-profit status help relieve
> property taxes?
>
> Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Jon Kazmierski
> jkazmier@umich.edu
>
>
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