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2017: Impact of Michigan’s “Dark Store” Method of Property Taxation and Potential Solutions

Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Project - Spring, 2017

Authors: Sitou Akibode and Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University


Recent successful big box tax appeals in Michigan have led to halving their tax base. This drastic reduction in the tax base, and consequently tax revenue to local governments, has led to budget shortages in local governments. This study helps not only to understand and assess the impact of the big box tax abatement on local communities, and governments, but also explores new forms of collaboration between communities and big box stores, including community benefits agreements (CBAs).

Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2017

Author Information

Sitou AkibodeSitou Akibode, Michigan State University
Sitou’s work focuses on sustainable investments into the nexus of community and economic development. Sitou has advanced his work focusingon on sustainable investment and economic development. As founder of Global Expertise International, he launched the West African Investment and Development Bank (EBID)-supported "Forum on Economic Valuation of the Environment and Corporate Social Responsability" and co-launched with the first West African Economic and Monetary Union Area's Corporate Good Governance Index. With Michigan State University (MSU), in the Office of the Hannah Distinguished Professor in land policy, Sitou worked on optimizing impacts of international land investments in Africa. He subsequently joined the Columbia University Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) where he worked on frameworks for inclusive investment, before joining the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED), with assignment on economic growth and community development and Domicology—the study of structural abandonment in the US. Sitou’s current research includes analyzing impacts of and searching for solutions to big box stores tax issues in Michigan; a work supported by the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy, and the Economic Development Administration via the MSU EDA University Center for Regional Economic Innovation (REI). Sitou also worked on Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) in Michiganproviding light on key factors to successful CBAs, a research project funded by the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) and Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) and which provides light on key factors to successful CBAs, especially in Michigan. Sitou is an MSU 2017 University-wide Sustainable Michigan Endowment Project (SMEP) Fellow. Sitou received a master’s degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, from MSU and is working on his doctoral degree from the MSU Urban and Regional Planning Program in the School of Planning Design and Construction.

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