Amicus Brief

New Covert Generating Co, LLC v Covert Township at MSC

Case Year: 2016
Case Forum: Michigan Supreme Court
Keywords: Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT), personal property tax, jurisdiction
Amicus Counsel:

Robert Thall | Bauckman, Sparks, Lohrstorfer, Thall, & Seeber, P.C. | 458 West South Street | Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4621 | [email protected]

CoAmicus Parties:

1. The League joined Michigan Townships Association (MTA) brief
2. Michigan Association of Counties (MAC)
3. The County Road Association of Michigan
4. Van Buren Intermediate School District
5. Covert Public Schools
6. Van Buron County Road Commission
7. Library Association and School Equity Caucus


The Court of Appeals Opinion erroneously found on the basis of
ambiguity that MCL 20S.73Sa(4)(b) only required the filing of a personal property statement prior to commencement of the local March Board of Review if the property owner was bypassing protest to the Board of Review and instead directly appealing to the Tax Tribunal. The plain language of MCL 20S.73Sa(4)(b) requires that in order to invoke the jurisdiction of the Tax Tribunal a complete statement of assessable property
must be filed prior to commencement of the March Board of Review in the case of both direct appeal to the Tax Tribunal and protest to the March Board of Review. Rather than applying MCL 205.735a(4)(b) as grammatically written, the Court of
Appeals Opinion with very little analysis jumped straight to a last resort finding of ambiguity and determined that the statutory provision should be read without certain punctuation. It is not an over-reaction to foresee the grave consequences which will occur if the Court of Appeals is not reversed regarding these issues. The information contained in the statements of assessable property are essential for an assessor to begin the constitutional process of uniform assessment and taxation. The Court of Appeals Opinion encourages noncompliance and litigation as the statements need not be accurate or complete. Additionally, by not requiring
statements of assessable property to protest at the Board of Review, the taxpayer can subsequently appeal the Board of Review decision to the Tax Tribunal without ever filing a
legally required statement.


On order of the Court, the application for leave to appeal the August 4, 2015 judgment of the Court of Appeals is considered, and it is DENIED, because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.

MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No
Case Number: 2015-06
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