[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ MI Tax Tribunal on Hog Stench



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Thanks to Patty Cantrell for passing along this info! It is truly a sad 
commentary when the "good news" we glean on this outrageous issue is that 
neighbors of livestock factories are fortunate enough to have their property 
assessments, and thus property taxes, reduced because their property value is 
adversely affected by the horrendous odor from these facilities.  

There was at least one case prior to this one as well in which the Tax Tribunal 
agreed to a reduced value -- the Gorsuchs in Midland County.  That case was 
decided in late 1998, resulting a 20% reduction.  The reduction as tied to the 
inability of the family to use their yard because of the smell.  Unfortunately, 
the township the next year raised their assessment back to its previous level, 
even though nothing had been done to ameliorate the smell.  The last word I had 
was that the Gorsuchs are challenging the assessment again.

Anne Woiwode



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
     
     
============================================================== 
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at 
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/
     
Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to 
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich" 
==============================================================
     



==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================