The Property Tax Appeal Process

Plymouth, Michigan Property Tax Appeal Attorney

The Property Tax Assessment Notice

The property tax appeal process in Michigan begins with the issuance of a property tax assessment notice to all owners of real property located within the State of Michigan. As February comes around each year, property owners receive their annual assessment notice detailing the taxable and/or assessed value on which the tax amount they will owe for the year is based. Sometimes the assessed amounts are fair and accurate. Other times, they are not.

If you feel you have been over assessed based on an inaccurate property value, you have the right to file a property tax appeal. You need to take immediate action if you have residential property, as an appeal to the local Board of Review often must be filed within 10 days after receipt of the notice of assessment.

The process of appealing your property tax can be tedious and time-consuming. Contact my office and I can guide you through it.

For 40 years, I have practiced exclusively as a property tax attorney .

Having formerly worked in a prestigious Michigan law firm, I offer the skills and experience that come with a big firm, but provide the level of personal service only a small firm can.

For residential and some personal property assessments, the first step in the property tax appeal process is to file an appeal before the local Board of Review. Generally the Board of Review is held in March of each year although the Cities of Detroit, Grand Rapids, Wyandotte and Wyoming require an administrative appeal in February before a party can appeal to the March Board of Review. Commercial, Industrial and Developmental classified real property and for most personal property, no Board of Review protest is required. If you deem the assessment to be excessive, the first step is to file a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal after receipt of the assessment notice but before May 31st.

For residential properties, the deadline to file with the Michigan Tax Tribunal is July 31st. I often use the analogy that filing a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal is akin to purchasing a ticket, to stand in line to get on a bus that will eventually take you to your destination, that being a hearing before the Michigan Tax Tribunal. However, the time period between the filing of a petition and a hearing before the Michigan Tax Tribunal currently takes at least 18 to 24 months. That is a long time to stand in line. But while you're standing in line to get on the bus, you have the opportunity to negotiate with the city or township in an effort to try and settle your appeal prior to hearing. That is where my experience and contacts developed over the last 40 years can be particularly helpful in shortening the process.

The personal aspect of the relationship between myself and my client is particularly important in my property tax appeal work because I cannot be successful without the clients complete cooperation in providing relevant information and opinions to supplement my knowledge and expertise. Similarly, the benefits of the successful appeal between my client and myself are mutual just as profits of a partnership because my fee is wholly based upon the amount of tax savings I achieve for the client.

Negotiating Your Appeal

Once an appeal is filed, we will meet with the appropriate representatives to begin negotiation. Negotiating a property tax appeal can take many months. The length of time typically depends on the goals you've set for resolution. Past working relationships with the city or township can be very helpful in expediting this process. You must continue to pay taxes during this time or you run the risk of your property being forfeited.

Scheduling a Pre-Hearing

If negotiation fails, a pre-hearing will be scheduled. This process generally takes between 18-24 months. A pre-hearing is best described as a scheduling conference. It provides a forum for both sides to discuss hearing dates.

Property Tax Appeals Hearing

As your legal counsel, I will accompany you to your property tax appeal hearing. Having prepared beforehand, you may testify as a witness to the unique factors having to do with your property and what it is worth. Many times, these factors involve issues known only to the owner such as deferred maintenance like needing a new roof.

The primary witness at your hearing will be an appraiser. He or she will file an appraisal in advance of the hearing. Cases often rise and fall in relation to how well the appraiser testifies and how well the attorneys cross-examine the other side.

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, I receive one third of the amount of taxes I saved for you as a fee.

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