House Committee Expected to Approve Chamber-Supported Tax Tribunal Reform

May 15, 2017

The Michigan House Tax Committee is expected to approve Chamber-supported legislation to reform Michigan’s Tax Tribunal this week. The legislation would impact both commercial and residential taxpayers by reducing wait times for cases and ensuring Tribunal appointees have the training needed effectively adjudicate the complex cases before them, leading to more consistent and professional decisions. 

Michigan’s Tax Tribunal is the sole court of jurisdiction for property tax appeals in Michigan and has concurrent jurisdiction for non-property tax appeals with the Court of Claims.  The Tribunal has operated under the same regulatory framework for decades, making it overdue for reform. Specifically, House Bill 4412, sponsored by Rep. Iden (R-Oshtemo Township) would focus on three key areas:

  • Reforms Impacting Tribunal Members – The legislation requires training for all new Tribunal members on state and local tax issues, proper courtroom procedures and accepted appraisal practices; requires the Governor to consider candidates solicited from appropriate professional associations when appointing Tribunal members; allows the Governor to remove a Tribunal member for failure to perform duties or other good cause; and establishes procedures to eliminate potential conflicts of interest for Tribunal members, including rules for outside employment.
  • Accessibility – The legislation provides deadlines for decisions and other procedures to speed up cases and allows for the creation of regional offices.  
  • Internal Tribunal Procedures – The legislation allows for more transparency and accountability such as how a member of the Tribunal could be dismissed and how cases are assigned.

The Michigan Chamber will continue advocating for this legislation as it moves to the House floor. Please contact Dan Papineau with any questions at dpapineau@michamber.com.