Hearing Referee Decision Not Based on Competent, Material, and Substantial Evidence
In American Legion Post 267 v. Township of Lyon, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 300613, November 22, 2011, a corporation's claim of a local memorial home property tax exemption on a cabin that it owned and leased to its members on a weekly basis was remanded to the Tax Tribunal because the Michigan Court of Appeals was unable to resolve the case. The court held that the Tax Tribunal's hearing referee clearly relied on the articles of incorporation of an entirely different entity in denying the corporation's claim.
The hearing referee's decision was based on the fourth element of the test set forth in American Legion Memorial Home Ass'n of Grand Rapids v. City of Grand Rapids, 325 N.W. 2d 543 (1982), which was whether the cabin was utilized for the purposes for which the corporation was incorporated. However, because the hearing referee considered the articles of incorporation of the organization that was cited in American Legion, the tribunal's decision was not based on competent, material, and substantial evidence. Consequently, this case was remanded to allow the tribunal to develop the record and, if applicable, to reconsider the case using the corporation's articles of incorporation.