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Publications | May 1, 2020
2 minute read

Now Is the Time to Review Your Real Property Tax Assessments to Avoid Excessive Property Tax Payments

COVID‑19 is causing major financial setbacks in the real estate industry which is leading many people to evaluate their expenses including real property tax assessments.

Property taxes constitute a significant expense incurred by real property owners and one that is frequently overlooked. Many published sources predict the COVID‑19 pandemic will cause immediate and significant downward pressure on the market value of nearly all properties.

With that in mind, carefully consider whether your real property should be considered for a 2020 tax appeal.

Despite COVID‑19, the tax appeal processes are moving forward as scheduled with a Michigan Tax Tribunal appeal deadline of May 31, 2020, for commercial or industrial properties and July 31, 2020, for residential or agricultural properties. In order to file a residential or agricultural property appeal, the owner must have previously protested the assessment before the local board of review in March 2020.

The law requires that the “true cash value” of real property for property tax purposes be determined as of December 31, or “tax day,” of the immediately preceding year, which for tax year 2020 would December 31, 2019. For this reason, the economic hardships experienced by property owners later in 2020 due to COVID‑19 might not constitute a basis for an appeal standing alone. However, other factors may make an appeal worthwhile. And, it is important to keep in mind that the law surrounding challenges to property tax assessments is complicated and the facts of each case are unique.

If you have any properties you would like us to review for a possible 2020 appeal, please contact Lyndsay Ott, Christian Meyer or any other member of Warner’s Real Property Litigation Practice Group as soon as possible to discuss whether an appeal is justified.