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      Lowe's woes for Marquette Township

      A property tax issue between Marquette Township and a big box retailer has Marquette County chipping in $12,000 to a legal fund. The money is for the township to help pay legal costs as they appeal a Michigan Tax Tribunal decision regarding Lowe's Home Improvement.

      The tribunal ruled in favor of retailers, stating they should be appraised as if their buildings were empty. At the board's last meeting, Township Supervisor Dennis Liimatta told the board the township has already spent significant money on the issue, and they stand to lose even more in tax revenue. According to County Board Chairman Gerry Corkin, the tribunal's decision will have a huge impact on many groups within the county.

      "You'll probably have all the big box stores doing the same thing if this ruling sticks, so this could have a tremendous impact on Marquette Township, Marquette schools, and the county of Marquette," said Corkin.

      The issues will now go before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Breitung Township in Dickinson County is in a similar situation with the Home Depot store in their town.