Homeowners near dump contaminating water seek relief on property assessments

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI — Living down the street from a dump that tainted their well water, Carrie and Rick Burrows were hoping to see their property taxes cut instead of increased when they got their tax assessment from Plainfield Township for this year.
The Burrows live down the street from the House Street dump where Wolverine World Wide disposed of tannery waste.
By law, assessments for 2018 are based on home sales from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017 — before the contamination became public, he said.
"Nobody’s going to buy a house on House Street," he said.
Michael Metz, who also lives in a neighborhood where wells are contaminated, said he doesn’t believe his house could fetch the township’s assessed valuation if he put his house on the market.
"I don’t want eight or 10 years of paying top-of-the-market property taxes on my home," he said.
However, they argued that their address on House Street has stigmatized the value of the home they’ve lived in for the past 32 years.
"We’re on House Street."
Speaking as a property assessor, Deverman told Young his location in the Rockford Public School District has kept the property values strong despite the adverse publicity.
"The sales data that has been on the real-estate board does not substantiate those sales being stigmatized," he said.

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