Taxable Property: Site used by former school board member

LAKE LINDEN – A property on the Schoolcraft Township campground was determined to be taxable, Lake Linden-Hubbell Schools Superintendent Craig Sundblad said at Monday’s board meeting. However, he said, the school board has no role in collecting taxes.

The 192-square-foot structure, which lacked electricity and other amenities, had been built by former school board member Kevin Codere on the township campground that he had used as a camping site while serving as campground host.

Codere resigned from the board last month. In an interview he stated he felt the board was “getting undue influence from a citizen” who addressed the board about the issue at several meetings.

Codere told Sundblad the Schoolcraft Township’s Board of Review had decided to place the property on the tax rolls. The board also decided not to address the matter of back taxes. The property’s taxable value was put at about $2,000.

“I will continue this process, so I may pass on the taxable value of the property to you at a future meeting,” Sundblad said.

Sundblad also consulted the Michigan Association of School Board’s legal counsel on the board’s role in tax assessment and tax collection issues. Despite the township money coming to the school district, the district is not responsble for collecting taxes, he said.

“They told me that while the school district may be the largest entity that utilizes tax dollars, that doesn’t make them a tax collector,” he said. “They have no role in collecting taxes, enforcing tax laws or prompting investigations and should remain well outside those issues.”

The exception is cases where a major taxpayer attempts to get an exemption that would significantly impact the district, as in the case of the so-called “dark-store” loophole, Sundblad said.