Property tax

Supreme Court says you can now appeal

By Richard D. Bisio

Property classification has become a hot issue since 2008, when the Michigan Business Tax and associated amendments gave a tax break to industrial personal property. Since then, assessors have been looking closely at property classification with a view to reclassifying industrial property to commercial, a move that increases personal property tax rates for the property owner.

In the past, if the local assessor reclassified your property from industrial to commercial, your taxes would increase. You could appeal to the State Tax Commission, but the General Property Tax Act said all Tax Commission rulings were final. A property owner was required to submit documentation, wait for a ruling and accept the Tax Commission’s findings with no recourse, hearing, presenting of other evidence or forum for appeal.

In May, the Michigan Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to prohibit appeal of State Tax Commission decisions on classification of property.

Reclassification can be protested at the March Board of Review and then appealed to the State Tax Commission. Under the Supreme Court’s decision, the Tax Commission no longer has the final word. The taxpayer can appeal the Tax Commission’s decision to the Circuit Court.

For further information regarding these matters, please contact Mr. Bisio at 248.740.5698 or via email.