Golf Courses

Michigan Property Tax Attorney Helping Owners of Golf Courses

The Problems With the Current Cost Approach to Land Valuation

In connection with my representation of golf course owners in property tax appeals over the last three years, I have yet to come across a golf course whose assessment is not significantly overstated.

For 40 years, I have been representing residential and commercial property owners — including owners of golf courses — in property tax appeals throughout Michigan and across the United States. As a lawyer , I offer the skills and experience of a big firm combined with the personalized service of my small legal practice.

If you have received a tax value assessment for your golf course that seems unreasonably high, contact my office to schedule a free consultation to discuss a property tax appeal .

In Michigan, property is supposed to be assessed at 50% of the property's fair market value. The three generally accepted approaches to golf course valuation include the cost approach, the income capitalization approach, and the sales comparison approach. Assessors typically value golf courses using a cost approach.

A cost approach begins with land value, adds the cost of improvements and subtracts depreciation. If we break that down and examine each of those component parts, it's easy to see why there is such a disparity between the value reflected by a particular course's assessment and its fair market value.

Why Should an Income Approach Be Used to Value Golf Course Property?

The recent decrease in land values is not the only unaddressed problem in property taxation. Because of high gas prices and the poor general economy overall, people are simply golfing far less. This large drop in golf patronage has created an over-supply of golf courses and led to a steep drop in revenues. Being a golfer myself, I have witnessed tremendous reductions in greens fees across the board. The decline in value from such economic factors is referred to as "external obsolescence."

In today's environment, the income approach to property valuation is far better suited to accurately arrive at the fair market value of a golf course because it is uniquely capable of reflecting external obsolescence.

Properly pursuing an appeal on that basis will almost invariably result in a substantial long-term tax savings for golf course owners. To see how I have successfully used this formulation in property tax appeals, please visit my recent cases page .

Contact My Plymouth, Michigan Office

I am available to meet with you to discuss your property tax appeal needs Monday through Friday from 9-6. Evening and weekend times are available by appointment.

I offer a free initial consultation . Ninety-eight percent of my work is done on a contingent-fee basis. In such cases, you are only responsible for paying out-of-pocket costs for such things as filing fees. At the end of your case, my fee is one third of the amount of any taxes I saved for you.

Contact me at 734-335-1967 or online for more information or to schedule an appointment.