A Republican in the state House of Representatives is teeing up a proposal that would give a property tax reduction to privately-owned golf courses within 5 miles of one that’s publicly-owned.
State Rep. Judson Gilbert (R-Algonac), who chairs the state House Tax Policy Committee, introduced House Bill (HB) 5475 earlier this month. It has been referred to the 17-member panel he helms, although no hearing date has been set for the legislation.
HB 5475 would include a private golf course located within five miles of a municipal golf course as among the qualified agricultural properties that are exempt from school district property taxes.
Lloyd Syron, owner of the Pontiac Country Club, located at 4335 Elizabeth Lake Road in Waterford Township, is just under five miles from the White Lake Oaks golf course at 991 N. Williams Lake Road in White Lake Township.
He said the legislation would “absolutely” be helpful to his business, which has been in operation since 1940.
“There’s 19 municipal or city-owned golf courses in Oakland County,” Syron said. “They pay no taxes, and we paid $75,000 last year.”
Syron said the publicly-owned golf courses frequently compete with privately-owned courses. For example, he said, a renovation to the Pontiac Country Club’s clubhouse was met with a $6 million renovation by White Lake Oaks.
Repeated messages left with Gilbert’s Lansing office went unreturned prior to press time.