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BlogsPublications | September 22, 2016
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COA: Statutory language requiring rescission “in writing” of personal residence exemption not constrained to Treasury Form 2062

A homeowner’s request for rescission of the Personal Residence Exemption “in writing” is not constrained to the sole use of Michigan Department of Treasury Form 2602, say the Court of Appeals in Denton v Department of Treasury, No. 327406. Rather, the broad language of “in writing” under MCL 211.7cc(8) encapsulates more than Form 2602.

The Michigan Department of Treasury has discretion to waive interest on any tax set forth in a corrected or supplemental tax bill for the current and three preceding years under MCL 211.7cc(8). To receive such waiver, an assessor of the local tax collecting unit must file a sworn affidavit in a form prescribed by the Department of Treasury noting the assessor’s failure to rescind the exemption after the owner made the request for rescission “in writing.” As the General Property Tax Act, MCL 211.78 et. seq. failed to define the term “in writing,” the court resorted to the plain and ordinary dictionary meaning as well as the context in which the term was used. While Treasury claimed the term “in writing” referred specifically a request on it's Form 2602, the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed holding the term to “clearly encompass more,” subsequently remanding the matter, leaving open the question of whether the materials submitted by taxpayer constituted such a request "in writing."