Yesterday, after the House committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance unanimously approved Chamber initiated HB 5766 (Hauck) to push back the May 31st deadline to appeal commercial and industrial personal property assessments, it was found out the Governor plans to issue an Executive Order (EO) to do the same. Dan Papineau, Director of Tax Policy and Regulatory Affairs was present to provide in person testimony supporting the bill.
HB 5766 extends the May 31st deadline for commercial and industrial personal property taxes to August 31st, giving these taxpayers an additional 3 months to prepare an appeal. Additionally, the legislation moved the deadline to file residential appeals from July 31st to August 31st.
While the EO to delay the deadline for commercial and industrial personal property tax appeals has yet to be seen, we hear it makes other adjustments to the property tax calendar.
Since property taxes are based on subjective valuations, the right to appeal those valuations are fundamental. In today’s environment taxpayers across Michigan have struggled to get assessment notices and properly consult with their tax professionals in order to file a proper appeal. Giving them extra time to adequately defend themselves against what they believe to be an unfair assessment is only fair.
While the Chamber anxiously awaits an EO granting taxpayers more time to appeal as we hear is coming, the request to issue such an order was communicated over 1 month ago by the Michigan Chamber on behalf of our members. As with sales, use and withholding filing deadlines, it would be nice to get more than a few days’ notice before these changes occur.
Furthermore, it is concerning that the Governor would not take this opportunity to work with the legislature on this bipartisan opportunity to involve the people’s branch of state government. HB 5766 has no opposition and is supported by both parties. Why would the Governor not work cooperatively with the legislature to accomplish the extension of the appeals deadline? Instead the Governor continues to completely cut the legislative branch of government out of the conversation and, in this case, for absolutely no reason.
The Michigan Chamber will continue to push for the passage of HB 5766 on our originally planned and expedited schedule. Mostly because some attorneys for local government’s are arguing that even with an EO they will move to dismiss any appeal filed after the May 31st statutory deadline but also because government must return to 3 equal branches of government, not one.