City of Manistee finally takes action against theater owner
MANISTEE, MI — On April 21st 2008 the city of Manistee finally took action aganist the owner of the historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee.
Citing the refusal of the owner to pay property taxes for the years 2000-2005, and 2007, a letter taped to the front door of the theatre served as notice that they were seizing the property if the deliquent taxes of $16,628.84 were not paid in full by April 30th at 5pm.
As of May 1st, the signs have not been removed.
The seizure and subsequent selling of the the theatre will allow an interested party to purchase the theatre for a far more reasonable price that the $275,000 the owner was asking.
Numerous companies and individuals have shown an interest in preserving this historic theatre in the past, most recently a company from Ohio. This company leased it in 2006 and declined to purchase it due to problems with the owner.
Though the owner has no possible way of winning this dispute, nonetheless I salute his bold stance. For property taxes have done more harm to this country than anything else I can think of — whether targetted at businesses or residences. Someday maybe a new amendment will be added to the U.S. Constitution abolishing them completely, and to be sure, that will be a great leap forward.