Legislation from state Representatives Kim LaSata and Dave Pagel designed to close a property tax loophole that’s hurt many lakeshore communities has been approved by both the Michigan House and Senate. LaSata tells WSJM News it cracks down on second homeowners from out of state who claim their vacation place in Michigan is a homestead in order to get a reduced tax rate. Right now, they get away with it.
“What they can do its just say, ‘Oh, I made a mistake,’” LaSata said. “Then, they can go back and make up the taxes they were supposed to have paid. This will stop the loophole.”
LaSata tells us the problem was brought to the attention of state Representative Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs by Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski. Under the legislation, violators could face a misdemeanor criminal charge. They at least have to pay back what they owe. The plan now goes to the governor for his signature.