Failed to Establish Home as the One True, Fixed, and Permanent Residence
In Roberts v. Township of West Bloomfield, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 303098, May 10, 2012, a taxpayer was not entitled to a local Michigan principal residence property tax exemption because he failed to establish that he owned and occupied the home as his one true, fixed, and permanent residence. The township established that the taxpayer did not utilize water or sewage services from September 2007 through May 2009. Whether a home was occupied must be judged as of May 1 in the year for which the principal residence exemption is claimed. As of May 1, 2009, the township's water department had last inspected the water meter at the residence on March 2, 2009. At that time, no water or sewage services had been used at the property since September 2007. In addition to the lack of water usage, the township presented photographs of the taxpayer's residence taken in March 2008. The photographs showed that the yard had not been tended to for at least two seasons. There were no curtains or blinds in the windows, and a visual inspection revealed little furniture inside the home. The township also provided evidence that the taxpayer had marketed the property for rent during his alleged occupancy.