CONTACT: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466,; Bob Kittle, Munetrix, 248.797.1337,

Auburn Hills, Mich. – September 11, 2018 –Munetrix, a public sector solutions provider offering data management, analytics and reporting tools for states, local governments and public school districts, is showing its support for Escanaba and Michigan’s SB 1025 and HB 6049, so-called Dark Store legislation, by donating 10% of its subscription service price for each new Michigan city, village, township or county customer in the month of September to the Dark Store Legislation Defense Fund. Donations will range from $500 up to $1,500 per subscription, depending on the subscription category.  

A vexing national issue for local governments and school districts, SB 1025 and HB 6049 were introduced in May 2018 in response to the Michigan Tax Tribunal’s application of a tax loophole that assessed the value of fully functioning big box stores  as if they were empty (“dark”). The loophole was first applied to a Menards store in Escanaba in 2014, but grew to other national pharmacies, chain stores and fast food restaurants in Michigan as retailers used it as a precedent to reduce their own property tax bills. The cumulative result has been a significant reduction in local tax revenues which creates a challenge for already struggling communities to deliver quality services in an affordable manner.  Not only does this impact Michigan taxing jurisdictions, it is a precedent that could have devastating impact around the country.

In October 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Menards as it sought to reverse a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that favored Escanaba and, further, cited the Tribunal’s error in reassessing Menards’ tax bill.  In the next few months, Escanaba and Menards will go before the Michigan Tax Tribunal to argue their cases. That’s where the need for financial support comes in.

Munetrix President Bob Kittle explained the impetus for the new customer donation promotion.

“The Munetrix donation campaign comes on the heels of more local governments donating money from their own budgets, as their charters allow, in solidarity with Escanaba to defray their legal costs. For example, Auburn Hills, where I am a City Council member, recently donated $5,000,” Kittle said. “Serving more than 300 Michigan municipalities and school districts, Munetrix gets in the trenches with our customers to help build and support fiscally healthy governmental units throughout Michigan. These donations fall right in line with that type of support and show our commitment to their cause.”

About Munetrix

Michigan-based Munetrix is among the nation’s largest aggregators of municipal and school district data and promotes municipal wellness and sustainability through its cloud-based data management tools and proprietary performance management applications. In partnering with Munetrix, communities and school districts can manage their data and access cost effective products and advisory services to make meaningful and reliable budgets, financial projections, trend reports and forward-looking decisions. Learn more about your school or community’s Munetrix Score at the Munetrix website.