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Marina Shores abatements vex Portage council
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Marina Shores abatements vex Portage council

  • Updated
Portage City Hall

Portage City Hall

PORTAGE — Questions over compliance with residential property tax abatements at Marina Shores will lead to a hearing next month over whether to rescind them.

About five properties are involved, City Attorney Dan Whitten told the council members.

Joan Andersen Schmidt, one of the homeowners, said her $1 million house there had just been completed. “I just want to be there, and I want to live there,” she said.

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As soon as she heard that she hadn’t submitted the necessary paperwork on time, she filled it out that day and took it to the county auditor’s office, she said. Whitten confirmed it.

Last year, the council granted waivers to property owners in the development.

“I remember we said that Marina Shores was going to have to notify these residents,” Council President Collin Czilli, D-5th, said. Council Vice President Scott Williams said that’s exactly how he remembered the discussion.

Marina Shores developer Dave Bresnahan said some of the confusion stems from the property being sold before the home is built.

“A couple years go by before the home is built,” he said. Homeowners can forget that once the abatement is granted, that isn’t the end of it. Annual compliance forms must be submitted to continue to receive the abatement until it is phased out.

“The city’s responsibility ends pretty quick,” Whitten said. “The onus is upon the owner what the timeline is.”

“It’s a lot of money at stake for you,” Whitten told Schmidt and other Marina Shores homeowners who either turned in forms late or not at all. “You need to get your forms in.”

“A tax abatement for a residential property is not common. This is the only place in the city where it happens,” Czilli said.

The council set a public hearing for its April 6 council meeting and strongly suggested Bresnaham let affected homeowners know about it.

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