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Tax Appeals Process

Assessors are required to follow various procedural guidelines when formulating a property’s assessment.  It is Kickham Hanley’s task to ensure that the guidelines are followed properly and that your assessments truly reflects the market value of your property.

Whether you own an apartment, office or industrial building, shopping center, golf course or vacant land, it is imperative that your assessments are scrutinized carefully.  Taxes are a significant portion of your operating expenses and should be reviewed on an annualized basis.  You will receive your annual assessments in the “Assessment Notice.”  When reviewing your assessment, it is important to also review your operating statement, rent roll and comparable properties (if available).  If, after reviewing your assessment, you believe a reduction is warranted, a formal petition will need to be prepared on your behalf and filed with the Michigan Tax Tribunal (“Tribunal”) to challenge the assessments for the tax year in question.  You have until May 31 to file your petition with the Tribunal.

What is required of you during the challenge of the assessment?  You may be responsible for acquiring an appraisal.  An appraisal for purposes of tax appeal differs from a more typical financial appraisal.  Although a financial appraisal is reflective of value, an appraisal for assessment challenges requires that the documents purpose, authorized user and timing components are abided by.  You may be requested to produce information about the property which may include, but is not limited to, purchase agreements, income statements and construction costs.

Once the petition has been filed, the local municipality will make discovery requests of information regarding the subject property.  If, during the discovery period, a settlement is not reached, your challenge will proceed to trial.  The trial will allow the parties to enter evidence before the Tribunal substantiating their opinion of the property’s market value.  The Tribunal judge will ultimately decide the value of your property.

 KH has successfully reduced the assessments of apartment buildings, golf courses, industrial properties, condominium projects and shopping centers.  Although many challenges are often settled through negotiations, there are occasions which require a trial before the Tribunal.  KH also has appealed the Tribunal’s decisions to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

 KH is committed to making certain that your assessments coincide with the true cash value of your property and that any overpayment resulting from an over assessment is refunded to you.