See the update to this eAlert posted on 6-17-20 titled "Update to Previous eAlert on Property Tax Appeal Deadlines."
On June 9, 2020, the State Tax Commission (STC) issued a memorandum providing guidance as to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-87 (EO) regarding the expansion of authority for the local 2020 July Board of Review. In its memorandum, which may be found here, the STC states that the Governor’s EO requires the 2020 July Board of Review to hear all matters which could have been heard at the March Board of Review, unless the issue was already heard and decided by the March Board of Review. This effectively re-opens the March Board of Review (to take place at the 2020 July Board of Review) in all jurisdictions for matters which require a taxpayer to appear at the March Board of Review to contest the current year’s assessment before filing a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT). This means that owners of residential and agricultural property, who must normally appear at the March Board of Review to preserve their right to appeal the MTT, may now appear at the 2020 July Board of Review while still preserving their right to appeal at the MTT. In addition, the 2020 July Board of Review must allow such taxpayers to appear by way of letter in lieu of an in-person appearance. The 2020 July Board of Review must still consider the valuation and status of any property under appeal as of “tax day,” which is December 31, 2019, when making their decisions.
The 2020 July Board of Review must render its decision on such appeals no later than September 1, 2020. It is unclear how long a taxpayer has after the 2020 July Board of Review makes its decision to appeal that decision to the MTT. If House Bill 5766 (the “Bill”), which has now passed both the Michigan House of Representatives and the Senate, is signed by the Governor, it will further extend the deadline for filing tax appeals until August 31, 2020. If this is the case, and you have received your decision from the 2020 July Board of Review prior to the new deadline in the pending Bill, you may file any appeal of that 2020 July Board of Review decision by: (a) July 31, 2020, which is the deadline as extended by the Governor’s EO; or (b) by the new deadline in the Bill. Because we do not know at this time when or if the Governor will sign the Bill, and because the 2020 July Board of Review may issue its decision as late as September 1, 2020, the absolute safest route with regard to a 2020 July Board of Review decision is to file a protective appeal to the MTT no later than July 31, 2020, out of an abundance of caution.
Be aware that the Governor’s EO does not require 2020 assessment notices to be re-issued with respect to the 2020 July Board of Review and that, except for proper posting under the Open Meetings Act, MCL 15.261 et seq., there is no other requirement that the 2020 July Board of Review provide notice of its obligation to convene. Therefore, we recommend contacting your local assessing department to confirm the dates and times for the 2020 July Board of Review and schedule an appointment, if necessary, if you intend to avail yourself of this extended opportunity.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this issue or would like us to help you determine, on a complimentary basis, whether you have a possible appeal of your 2020 assessment, please contact Ralph Colasuonno, Christian Meyer or any other member of Warner’s Real Property Litigation Practice Group as soon as possible.
This is an update to our previous eAlert titled “Property Tax Appeal Deadlines Extended Due to COVID‑19,” published on May 19, 2020.