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Michigan Property Tax Appeal Changes Due to COVID-19

Real Estate Tax Law

On Thursday, May 14, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2020-87 extending the filing deadlines for property tax appeals in Michigan. Under normal circumstances, a township or local unit of government’s Board of Review meets the second week of March to hear protests from residential real property owners regarding their property tax assessments. If a residential real property owner fails to file a protest at this March Board of Review hearing, the property owner loses the right to file an appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Under Executive Order No. 2020-87, however, residential real property owners are now allowed to protest their 2020 property tax assessments to the Board of Review at the July meeting. Pursuant to the order, the Board of Review must meet on July 21, 2020, and it must provide notice of the specific hearing times. Also, protests may be filed by letter with no physical appearance required. A protest can only be made if a protest was not made at the prior March Board of Review hearing.

A protest to the Board of Review is required before a residential real property owner can file a property tax appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. As of now the deadline to file an appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal remains unchanged with the deadline still July 31, 2020. However, given that decisions from the July Board of Review are not due until September 1, 2020, an additional Executive Order may be signed extending the deadline. If not, appeals should still be filed by the July 31, 2020 deadline, even if the Board of Review decision has not yet been issued.

Finally, for commercial real property, industrial real property, and personal property tax disputes, no protest before the Board of Review is required. Rather, property owners of these classified properties may protest to the Board of Review or they may appeal directly to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Under normal circumstances, the appeal must be filed with the Tax Tribunal by May 31. Under Executive Order No. 2020-87, the deadline for filing tax appeals to the Michigan Tax Tribunal for commercial real property, industrial real property, and personal property has been extended to July 31, 2020.

This Order takes effect automatically and no forms or motions need to be filed by property owners to qualify for the extensions. These deadline extensions only apply to tax year 2020, and the normal deadlines will apply for tax year 2021.

Shinners & Cook, P.C. have saved clients tens of thousands of dollars each year in property taxes. While no two cases are alike, our Firm may be able to assist in lowering your yearly property taxes too. Please call us today at 989-799-5000 to discuss whether a property tax protest and/or appeal are right for you.