Saturday, March 12, 2011

Letter: Michigan Needs money! Here is a suggestion:

Dear Editor,

Michigan Needs money! Here is a suggestion:

I recently saw some information on file with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) dealing with Kennecott’s tax payments to the State of Wisconsin for the Flambeau Mine. The mine operated near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, in the mid-1990s; and conservative estimates put the value of the ore (copper, gold and silver) at $585 million.

According to the Wisconsin DOR, Kennecott paid the State of Wisconsin $14.3 million in taxes. That works out to less than 3 percent of the value of the ore. As tax time approaches, don’t you wish your taxes could be computed at a rate of 3 percent? It makes me wonder -- Is Michigan’s mining tax law as lousy as Wisconsin’s? When I tried to find the answer, I couldn’t even find where Michigan HAS a mining tax law!

How much money is the State of Michigan expected to get out of the $4.7 billion ore body that Kennecott is planning to mine at Eagle Rock in the Yellow Dog Plains, Upper Peninsula? Or, more important, what is the State of Michigan about to give away to a foreign mining company when public services are being cut and most people are hurting?

Ask State Representatives and Senators to tax Kennecott at a hefty rate for the metal they plan to take out of Michigan. After all, Kennecott is shipping OUR precious metals over to China to make a quick buck while we face school closings here at home. It’s not fair.

Here is contact information for State Representative Matt Huuki (517/373-0850) and State Sen. Tom Casperson (517/373-7840).


Charlotte Loonsfoot
Member, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC)
Baraga, Michigan

Photo: Charlotte Loonsfoot is pictured here the KBIC Maawanji'iding (Pow wow) in the Ojibwa Campground, Baraga, in June 2010. Her regalia includes a symbolic blue shawl. The Women's Movement for the Water is promoting blue shawls to help spread awareness about protecting the water. Click on photo for larger version. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

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