Property Owner Failed to Meet Burden of Proof
In Landon v. Township of Mt. Morris, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 301986, May 24, 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed in part the lower court's determination of the true cash value of a taxpayer's residential property (used as a rental unit) for property tax purposes. The assessment for the 2007 tax year was vacated as the township conceded that the valuation was too high. However, the assessments for the 2008 and 2009 tax years were affirmed because the taxpayer failed to meet his burden of proof.
Under the applicable standard of review, the appellate court had to determine if the lower court misapplied the law or adopted a wrong principle. The taxpayer used the sales-comparison approach to calculate true cash value, but the township and the lower court used the cost-less-depreciation method. Using a different way to figure true cash value was not a misapplication of the law or the adoption of a wrong principle. In addition, it was not an invalid method because the property did not assess at the taxpayer's purchase price.