Tax Tribunal Impermissibly Automatically Accepted the Original Assessment
In TG Lansing, LLC v. City of Lansing, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 305918, September 27, 2012, the Michigan Tax Tribunal's judgment affirming the original assessed, taxable, and true cash valuations of a limited liability company's parcel of property for property tax assessment purposes was incorrect because the Tax Tribunal failed to make an independent determination of the true cash value of the property. The Tax Tribunal concluded that the company's expert had not provided credible evidence supporting his claimed lower valuations, but that the city had also not provided credible evidence supporting its claimed revised higher valuations.
The Michigan Court of Appeals held that the Tax Tribunal did not err in concluding that the company's evidence was unconvincing. Moreover, the city had not appealed the Tax Tribunal's finding that its expert was also not credible and that the property was not underassessed.
However, the Tax Tribunal then apparently simply found that the original assessment values were fair and reasonable with no other stated reasoning or evidence in support of that conclusion. The true cash values adopted by the Tax Tribunal were in fact inexplicably greater than the valuations provided by either party's expert. Therefore, given the lack of underlying evidence in support, the Tax Tribunal appeared to have impermissibly automatically accepted the original assessment.