the fun fact statement is a fact. look at any
property tax bill in Michigan. it breaks down the property tax allocations/millages (you may not recognize a school district as separate from your local community but in fact they are not one and the same). Feel free to use your own property tax bill as my citation. now, notice the paragraphs after that statement - while they are also true in general terms they're not part of that "fun fact" statement - they were meant to make the reader pause, and consider those costs. imagine them for a moment. ask yourself if you have any idea whatsoever of their relevance.
now - you can look up the 50 page decision on the palace of auburn hills tax appeal at the michigan tax tribunal website's here: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/ham/tax/sr_recdec.asp
total reconstruction cost of the facility after the various additions net out to over $120M - not counting the value of the land.
the 2003 value was litigated down to less than $40M true cash. (also in the final opinion you can find above) after reading that gem, do another search, and look for the old case on rouge steel - it's the case that put Shapiro on the map.
MAI Appraisers charge $10k-25k for a financing appraisal of a medium sized grocery center or REIT type of property. they charge quite a bit more for specialized properties that take nationwide research, and/or involve lengthy litigation. your mileage may vary on this on, but Mr. Tomlinson, the MAI for Honigman is listed in the yellow pages, see if he'll quote you his fee for that case over the phone.
on the witness list for Shapiro was a graduate level professor at Brigham Young... calling and paying for that level of expert witness testimony is also not cheap. I'll concede that I have no idea how expensive this is.
the city of auburn hills used secrest wardle as their attorneys - I don't know off hand how many days were spent at trial, or preparing prehearing briefs, hearing preparation, respondent briefs, and motions but I would submit that it's a shiton, at roughly $250/hour... this, for just one significant property tax appeal.
the Michigan Tax Tribunal has tens of thousands of cases pending across the State.
perhaps we should just do away with property taxes - after all the local community rarely if ever gets any help from the other parties (schools, state, county) to the case when it comes to defending the assessments - yet they willingly rake in that money after the summer and winter tax bills...
you may still think it's a classic campaign tactic, I prefer that people actually do a little thinking on the subject instead of spoon feeding.