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Zoetis Seeks Tax Refund from City of Kalamazoo

Sehvilla Mann

The city has also received permission from the Gun Lake Tribe to use its seal for certain historical and educational materials.

Veterinary drug company Zoetis says the City of Kalamazoo has charged it too much in property taxes. Zoetis is seeking a city tax refund of more than two and a half million dollars.

On Monday the city commission agreed to hire experts to re-assess the property. That will cost $45,000; the the Michigan attorney general’s office will pick up half the tab.

The Michigan Tax Tribunal will consider the city’s new appraisal and one from Zoetis. The City of Kalamazoo says it expects to spend about $60,000 if the company’s appeal goes to trial.

Tribal Seal

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe has given the City of Kalamazoo permission to use its tribal seal. The city is developing markers and documents that tell the story of the tribe.

In the early nineteenth century, the Band’s reservation covered much of what’s now the City of Kalamazoo. The city plans to place markers at the corners of the former reservation.

Kalamazoo also plans use the seal in Bronson Park as part of a permanent installment on Native American history, which in turn grew out of plans to restore the Fountain of the Pioneers. The fountain includes a depiction of a Native person that some people say is offensive.

David Brose is a member of the city Historic Preservation Commission.

“We wanted to be able to use the logo, the tribal seal of the Band” in the materials, he said. “They’ve been very gracious to give us that permission.”

Phyllis Davis is a council member for the Gun Lake Tribe.

“We’re very supportive of the work you want to do for the park, for the community,” she told commissioners. “We’re very interested in providing information and education to the community about who we are.”

The city is raising money for the work at Bronson Park.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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