Legislation for Victims of Natural Disasters
MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Legislation to assist those who rebuild structures lost to severe weather or natural disasters has been introduced by state Senator Tom Casperson.
The legislation would clarify state law to ensure that those who lose homes or buildings to acts of God, such as wildfires, tornadoes, or floods, would not be subject to higher property taxes when they rebuild a substantially similar structure within three years of the incident.
Last year, 136 structures were lost during the Duck Lake fire, which was the second worst forest fire in the state’s history. Of those structures, 49 were homes, cabins, or businesses and 58 were garages or outbuildings.
Current law punishes each of the property owners victimized by the fire with a higher property tax bill if they choose to rebuild, even if they choose to rebuild exactly the same structure, which Casperson said is “unjust, unnecessary and unreasonable.” SB 396 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
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