Amicus Brief

Terrie E. Taylor v City of Traverse City

Case Year: 2009
Case Forum: Michigan Court of Appeals
Keywords: General Property Tax Act (GPTA), uncapping, joint tenancy
Amicus Counsel:

Don M. Schmidt | Steven D. Mann | Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. | 277 S. Rose Suite 5000 | Kalamazoo, MI 49007 |

CoAmicus Parties:

Michigan Townships Association (MTA)


In narrowly crafting limited exceptions to property values uncapping, the Legislature could not have intended to exempt this type of perpetual tax shelter and an interpretation leading to such absurd results should not be adopted by this Court. Amici Curiae have a vital stake in the outcome of this case as their municipal constituents rely on the proper application of the General Property Tax Act, and specifically the narrow interpretations of exceptions contained within that act, for the
assessment of real property and the levy and collection of taxes to support vital community services. The Legislature has narrowly defined the Joint Tenancy Exception and its interpretation should not be expanded allowing for an exception that would result in a loophole creating a property tax shelter.


Reversed and remanded for entry of an order in favor of petitioner. We do not retain jurisdiction. Petitioner, being the prevailing party, may tax costs pursuant to MCR 7.219.

MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No

The Petitioner is the owner of real property in the City of Traverse City. Prior to his death, Petitioner’s father owned the Property at Issue. On August 3, 2005, the Petitioner’s father quit-claimed the Property at Issue to himself and Petitioner
as joint tenants. Less than two months later, Petitioner’s father died. By operation of law, title to the Property at Issue transferred to Petitioner. The City subsequently uncapped the taxable value of the Property in tax year 2006 and assessed the property at the state equalized value. The Petitioner protested the assessment to the MIT. Petitioner’s protest was based upon the contention that the Transfer at Issue was not a transfer of ownership requiring uncapping. On July 26,2007, the MTT
conducted a telephonic hearing with the Petitioner and the City’s Assessor. On December 11, 2007, the MTT upheld the City’s assessment and determined that the Transfer
at Issue was a transfer of ownership.

Case Number: 2008-07
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