Senate Passes Legislation to Amend the Tax Appeals Process

Posted on November 14, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

Yesterday afternoon the Senate passed Senate Bills 1038, 1039 and 1040, bills that make changes to the tax appeal process and the Michigan Tax Tribunal Act.

The League has a lot of concerns regarding the way the Tax Tribunal has been valuing property and the losses sustained by our local communities; however, this legislation does not make changes that would address those concerns.

The League sent a list of concerns to the sponsor, Senator Caswell, and he addressed many of those concerns. At this point our biggest concern with the legislation is philosophical.

First and foremost we think this legislation is a solution in search of a problem. The Department of Treasury is pushing for this legislation; however, none of the stakeholders who actually use the tax appeals process (including local units of government and the business community) are interested in this legislation passing. Local government and schools are now neutral, and the business community is not pushing for the legislation to move.

Initially the legislation had a  3-year look back for property tax appeals which would have created uncertainty for local budgets. Sen. Caswell did address that concern with an amendment.

The bills now go to the House for their consideration.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0306.

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