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E-M:/ MI Tax Tribunal on Hog Stench



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Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 17:09:26 -0500
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
From: Patty Cantrell <patty@mlui.org>
Subject: Hog Factory Neighbors Win Tax Reduction
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Michigan Tax Tribunal Recognizes Hog Factory Stench
Rural residents of Mecosta County have argued for two years that massive
hog operations, which moved to the Barryton area in 1997, are infringing on
their right to enjoy their private property. Sickening odors from a
6-million gallon pit of hog manure and urine, for example, invade the home
of Barryton's Mitch and Irene Gibbons three to four times a week.
The Michigan Tax Tribunal recently agreed with the Gibbons and their
neighbors. On Nov. 18, 1999, it ordered local tax officials to reduce the
true cash, assessed, and taxable values of at least five rural Barryton
homes by 35 percent. (The Tribunal is part of the Michigan Department of
Consumer and Industry Services.)
Among the items that convinced Tribunal members of a problem with
livestock factory stench in Mecosta County was this statement from an
appraiser about a property's slim sale chances: "Across the road from
subject is a large pig farm operation, and the smell is terrible."
A "livestock factory" is an operation that confines a large number of
animals - and their wastes - in a small area. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency calls the larger factories( starting at 750 cows, 2,500
hogs) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
The federal Clean Water Act requires all such CAFOs to have discharge
permits to guard against the manure spill dangers inherent to operations
with large, concentrated waste volumes. The state of Michigan, however,
refuses to provide the pollution prevention and public health protection
that comes with discharge permits. Instead, it relies on voluntary,
unenforceable guidelines in the Right to Farm Act to encourage proper
siting, construction, and management of animal waste handling facilities.
Michigan public interest and environmental groups are working with
hundreds of rural residents across Michigan for property rights fairness
and environmental justice.
For more information on:
- How the Michigan Right to Farm Act Fails Farmers and the Environment
(report)
- Michigan's violation of Clean Water Act provisions re. CAFOS (petition)
- how Senate Bill 205 (now Public Act 261 of 1999) disables rural zoning of
agriculture,
go to:
http://www.mlui.org/projects/propertyrights/livestockfactories/liveintro.html


*************************************
Patty Cantrell
Public Trust Alliance Project Manager
MICHIGAN LAND USE INSTITUTE
P.O. Box 228, 845 Michigan Ave.
Benzonia, MI 49616
www.mlui.org
tel: 231-882-4723 ext. 18
fax: 231-882-7350
e-mail: patty@mlui.org


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