Tax valuations challenge could cost townships, schools thousands

Linda Gallagher, Associate Editor

REGION – State tax tribunal petitions filed this spring by a Traverse City-based energy company could result in the loss of more than $11 million dollars in taxable property valuations in Antrim County, meaning thousands less in tax revenue for the county, 11 townships, and two of Antrim County's largest school districts.

Riverside Energy, LLC., filed a number of petitions in May and early June with the Tribunal for reductions in taxable values on 63 leased gas and oil properties in Banks, Central Lake, Echo, Chestonia, Forest Home, Kearney, Helena, Jordan, Custer, Mancelona and Warner townships, citing that current assessments on the properties were "arbitrary and discriminatory, based on the wrong principles and otherwise unlawful as being contrary to the General Property Tax Act and Tax Tribunal Act," going on to list issues with property identification and true cash values.

Riverside Energy Michigan, a newly formed company owned by White Deer Energy and Umbono Capitol of Houston, Texas, has acquired all of the equity ownership interests in former Chevron, O.I.L., and SRW oil and gas properties in Michigan over the past year, completing its Michigan interests with the June 1 acquisition of SRW properties, which had holdings in several Antrim County townships.

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