Thursday, January 9, 2014

Overhaul of the MTT in the works?

Matthew Worley, Esq.

As anyone who has tried to contest the city or township’s assessment of their property can attest, the process can be daunting.

Currently, the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) hears appeals from property owners contesting the assessment on their property.  However, there are some who think the MTT should be reformed or eliminated altogether because it is too complicated and yields inconsistent results.

There is currently a movement to eliminate the MTT and replace it with a Michigan Tax Court.  Supporters of this plan hope to hire judges and magistrates with more experience and pay them more.  Part of the problem, according to supporters of the new tax court, is that the current MTT members’ compensation is significantly lower than district and circuit court judges.  This makes it difficult to attract high caliber candidates.

Of course, legislation is required to make these changes.  A common complaint with the current process is that the agency doesn’t track residential appeals.  Only paper copies are kept of small claims appeals, making it difficult for property owners to research previously decided cases.

Whether this movement for reform will catch on remains to be seen.  One thing is for sure – if a new agency or court is created, careful planning will have to be made to ensure that the problems of the MTT aren’t simply rolled over into a new entity.

If you have questions regarding the appeal process for property tax assessments, contact Matthew Worley or Keith Madden, the experienced MTT legal team at Fausone Bohn, LLP, at (248) 380-0000 or online at 

To read more about the movement to reform the MTT, please visit: 

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