Tax Tribunal Made Specific Credible Determinations Supported by Evidence
In Berenjian v. City of Ann Arbor, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 300490, November 29, 2011, the Michigan Tax Tribunal legitimately assessed the true cash value of the taxpayers' property for local property tax purposes because the Tax Tribunal made specific credibility determinations that were supported by the evidence provided by each party as to the features of the property. In making its assessment, the Tax Tribunal was under no obligation to accept the valuation figures or the approach to valuation that was advanced by either the taxpayers or the city.
The Tax Tribunal correctly concluded that the city credibly testified as to the effective age of the property and appropriately decided not to adjust for the presence of a septic system because of its potential to raise, not lower, the property's ultimate value. Further, the taxpayers failed to provide any evidence as to the extent of a 1957 remodel of their property in order to dispute the increase in the property's value and failed to provide evidence to dispute the city's decision not to adjust for the septic system. In addition, the taxpayers could not claim that the city's assessment amounted to fraud as an intentional overassessment simply because they disagreed with the final valuation.