Property tax is the primary source of revenue for local municipalities, counties, and schools in the State of Michigan and it is vital that property tax be fair and as uniformly applied as permitted under the Constitution.
The General Property Tax Act defines true cash value as the usual selling price, the price that a typical buyer would pay for property given its location and condition.
Certain “Big Box” retailers have utilized a valuation approach in their appeals that incorporates deed restricted and vacant or “Dark” store buildings that result in much lower values than for similar properties in surrounding states and effectively distorts Michigan’s property tax system.
House Bill 5578 sponsored by the Rep. David Maturen and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 27 other House members is designed to close the "Dark Store" loophole that has cost local governments more than $100 million since 2013.
HB 5578 sets up a fair and equitable system of property review by requiring the Tax Tribunal to consider all methods of assessing property.
HB 5578 enforces current law by clarifying that Tax Tribunal members must independently evaluate the parties’ stipulation as to any valuation method or issue.
HB 5578 limits the use of deed restrictions to prevent the Dark Store technique of using vacant, restricted properties, for the purpose of artificially lowering value.
HB 5578 details in law the four-part tests that appraisers use to determine the highest and best use of property.
HB 5578 is consistent with state law defining a property’s “true cash value.
HB 5578 bill does not impose any new requirements on assessors or appraisers.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED in order to ensure public confidence where the assessment system and appraisal practice come together in the Tax Tribunal, the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners fully support House Bill 5578.