Finally, a bill that actually will get a hearing in committee after 3 years of trying by our state legislators. Possibly the workshop and support from legislators in the Lower Peninsula of MI made the difference. House Bill 5578 is sponsored by Representative David Maturen, R-Brady Twp., near Kalamazoo and Scott Dianda- D from Calumet.
“The Michigan Tax Tribunal, in recent decisions, has taken into account sales of ‘dark stores’ — vacant structures that most often have deed restrictions — when determining the assessed value of fully functional big box retail stores,” said Rep. Maturen. “This legislation eliminates the ‘dark store’ loophole, and creates fair policies that will be used for all assessment disputes heard by the entire Tax Tribunal.”
Representative John Kivela – D, Marquette along with Senator Tom Casperson- R have twice sponsored legislation in the last few years. “I want to thank Rep. Maturen for introducing HB 5578, while also thanking all of those who participated alongside me in the workgroup which helped lead to the development of this legislation,” said Kivela. “This bill creates a level playing field for local governments when arguing cases at the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
According to a summary of the highlights the, “Legislation would amend the Tax Policy and add a new section that would require that Tribunal Members independently make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law in their opinion regarding: the market for the property under appeal, the highest and best use of the property in its market, require consideration of all methods of value including the income method, the sales method, the cost method and the assessment method.”
Municipal League MI Tax Tribunal Overview document linked in our Resources page outlines these three recommended methods for “highest and best use.”
Here’s hoping that Dave Maturen’s workgroup and Scott Dianda’s support will prove the old adage: “third time’s a charm” and we can get this done! Please continue to contact your legislators to let them know you want it done, too.