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1 Advanced Class on Tribunal Procedures September 15, 2006 Practice...With Perspective Jack Van Coevering, Chair, Tribunal Member Patricia L. Halm, Tribunal.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Advanced Class on Tribunal Procedures September 15, 2006 Practice...With Perspective Jack Van Coevering, Chair, Tribunal Member Patricia L. Halm, Tribunal."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Advanced Class on Tribunal Procedures September 15, 2006 Practice...With Perspective Jack Van Coevering, Chair, Tribunal Member Patricia L. Halm, Tribunal Member Peter M. Kopke, Chief Clerk Kimbal R. Smith III, Former Tribunal Member Christine A. Derdarian, J.D., PAX Resolution Services, LLC

2 2 2 Agenda Introductions and Overview Introductions and Overview Jurisdiction, Pleading and Motion Practice, New Legislation, Administrative Rule Changes Jurisdiction, Pleading and Motion Practice, New Legislation, Administrative Rule Changes Case Updates: Survey Case Updates: Survey Stipulations & Consent Judgments Stipulations & Consent Judgments Mediation: A Tool for Resolution & Revenue Mediation: A Tool for Resolution & Revenue Do’s & Don’ts Do’s & Don’ts

3 3 3 Introductions and Overview

4 4 4 State Tax Courts Independent Courts following the Administrative Procedures Act Independent Courts following the Administrative Procedures Act Courts with the Administrative Agency following the Administrative Procedures Act Courts with the Administrative Agency following the Administrative Procedures Act Commission of non-legal tax professionals. Commission of non-legal tax professionals. Courts following the US Tax Court Model Courts following the US Tax Court Model The Tribunal The Tribunal

5 5 5 Overview of the Tax Tribunal  Established in P.A  Single tax court for tax appeals handled in numerous boards and circuit courts.  Jurisdiction for all tax matters -- property, business and personal tax matters.  Multidisciplinary knowledge and skill – appraisal, assessing, accounting and law.  Independent of tax enforcement agencies. E.R.O

6 6 6 The Work  Tax Tribunal annually receives approximately 2,000 new appeals in the Entire Tribunal division and approximately 6,000 new appeals in the Small Claims division.  Most are property tax cases.  4-5% of the appeals involve individual and business state tax disputes.  Current Status-- Pending caseload:10,550 appeals Pending caseload:10,550 appeals Representing roughly:$1.5 billion in Representing roughly:$1.5 billion in disputed tax dollars

7 7 7 The Tribunal’s Two Divisions: TTR (d) “Entire tribunal” means the hearing division of the tribunal other than the small claims division. TTR (n) “Small claims division” means the residential property and small claims division.

8 8 8

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11 11

12 12 Jurisdiction, Pleading and Motion Practice, New Legislation, Administrative Rule Changes

13 13 Jurisdiction The Tribunal has original and exclusive jurisdiction over property tax matters. The Tribunal has original and exclusive jurisdiction over property tax matters. Two Exceptions – Special assessments levied under the Drain Code or special assessments levied under the Inland Lakes Act. The Tribunal has concurrent (i.e., shares) jurisdiction over non-property tax matters with the Ingham County Circuit Court in their capacity as the Court of Claims. The Tribunal has concurrent (i.e., shares) jurisdiction over non-property tax matters with the Ingham County Circuit Court in their capacity as the Court of Claims. MCL

14 14 Jurisdiction – Property Valuation Appeals For 2006: For 2006: Taxpayers must protest their property’s assessment to the March Board of Review and file by June 30, 2006, or File within 30 days of action taken by a July or December Board of Review. File within 30 days of the issuance of actual notice of an assessment increase if such notice was not properly sent to the taxpayer prior to the March Board of Review. MCL

15 15 Jurisidiction – Property Valuation Appeals For 2007 and subsequent tax years: For 2007 and subsequent tax years: Appeals relating to the valuation of property classified as residential and agricultural real property or agricultural personal property require a protest to the March Board of Review and filing of the appeal by July 31 of the tax year involved. Appeals relating to the valuation of property classified as commercial, industrial, or development real property do not require a protest to the March Board of Review. Such appeals must be filed by May 31 of the tax year involved. Appeals relating to the valuation of property classified as commercial, industrial, or utility personal property do not require a protest to the March Board of Review provided the taxpayer files the required personal property statement with the local unit of government prior to the commencement of the March Board of Review. Such appeals must be filed by May 31 of the tax year involved. MCL a

16 16 Jurisidiction – Property Valuation Appeals For 2007 and subsequent tax years: For 2007 and subsequent tax years: File within 35 days of action taken by a July or December Board of Review. File within 35 days of the issuance of actual notice of an assessment increase if such notice was not properly sent to the taxpayer prior to the March Board of Review. MCL a

17 17 Jurisdiction – Other Property Appeals Principal Residence Exemptions: Principal Residence Exemptions: For 2006 and subsequent tax years – appeal must be filed within 35 days of the issuance of actual notice of the denial of the exemption. MCL 211.7cc Qualified Agricultural Exemptions: Qualified Agricultural Exemptions: For 2006 – appeal must be filed within 30 days of the issuance of actual notice of the denial of the exemption. For 2007 and subsequent tax years, appeal must be filed within 35 days of the issuance of actual notice of the denial of the exemption. MCL 211.7ee , and a

18 18 Jurisdiction – Other Property Appeals Uncappings: Uncappings: For 2006 and subsequent tax years, appeal must be filed within 35 days of the receipt of notice of the uncapping. MCL a and b Special Assessments: Special Assessments: For 2006 – appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the hearing held to confirm the special assessment roll. For 2007 and subsequent tax years, appeal must be filed within 35 days of the date of the hearing held to confirm the special assessment roll. MCL and a

19 19 Jurisdiction - Filing For 2006: For 2006: Small Claims – Receipt or sent by first class mail postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before filing deadline (i.e., June 30, 2006, etc.). Entire Tribunal – Receipt or sent by certified mail postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the filing deadline (i.e., June 30, 2006, etc.) MCL

20 20 Jurisdiction - Filing For 2007 and subsequent tax years: For 2007 and subsequent tax years: Small Claims or Entire Tribunal – Receipt, mailing postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the filing deadline, or delivery by a designated delivery service. Delivery by a designated delivery service may occur after the filing deadline if the appeal was given to the delivery service by the filing deadline. MCL a

21 21 Jurisdiction – “Party in Interest” The Michigan Court of Appeals stated in Covert Twp v Consumers Power Co, 217 Mich App 352, 356; 551 NW2d 464, 466 (1996): The Michigan Court of Appeals stated in Covert Twp v Consumers Power Co, 217 Mich App 352, 356; 551 NW2d 464, 466 (1996): A party is aggrieved by a judgment or order when it operates on the party's rights and property, or bears directly on the party's interest. Midland Cogeneration Venture Ltd Partnership v Public Service Comm, 199 Mich App 286, 304, 501 NW2d 573 (1993). An appeal can be taken only by parties who are affected by the judgment appealed from. In other words, there must be some substantial rights of the parties that would be prejudiced by the judgment. Grace Petroleum Corp v Public Service Comm, 178 Mich App 309, , 443 NW2d 790 (1989).

22 22 Jurisdiction The statutory requirements governing the filing of an appeal are not merely procedural requirements. Rather, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held that these requirements must be met to properly invoke the Tribunal’s subject matter jurisdiction. The statutory requirements governing the filing of an appeal are not merely procedural requirements. Rather, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held that these requirements must be met to properly invoke the Tribunal’s subject matter jurisdiction. Electronic Data Systems Corporation v Flint Township, 253 Mich 538; 656 NW2d 215 (2002)

23 23 Jurisdiction - Exceptions Taxpayers may appeal an “excessive” assessment without protest or filing an appeal by the appropriate filing deadline with the assessment was established by the assessing officer or taxpayer as the result of a clerical error or mutual mistake of fact. Taxpayers may appeal an “excessive” assessment without protest or filing an appeal by the appropriate filing deadline with the assessment was established by the assessing officer or taxpayer as the result of a clerical error or mutual mistake of fact. If the assessment is determined to have been the result of a clerical error or mutual mistake of fact, the Tribunal would have the authority to correct the current tax year assessment and the three (3) previous tax year assessments. If the assessment is determined to have been the result of a clerical error or mutual mistake of fact, the Tribunal would have the authority to correct the current tax year assessment and the three (3) previous tax year assessments. MCL a

24 24 Jurisidction – MCL a With respect to the meaning of the terms “clerical error” and “mutual mistake of fact,” the Michigan Court of Appeals stated in Ford Motor Co v Bruce Township, 264 Mich App 1; 689 NW2d 764 (2004): An error that is not clerical in nature-the result of typing, transposing, or calculating assessment figures incorrectly-is not correctable under the statute. Int'l Place Apartments-IV v [Ypsilantai Twp, 216 Mich App 104]…109, 548 N.W.2d 668. Id at 8-9. So, a “mutual mistake of fact” is a shared or common error, misconception, misunderstanding, or erroneous belief about a material fact. MCL a, then, requires that both the assessing officer and the taxpayer have the same erroneous belief regarding the same material fact, which belief directly caused both the excess assessment and excess payment of taxes. Id at 9.

25 25 Jurisdiction – MCL b In addition to the correction of clerical errors or mutual mistakes of fact, local units of government can correct a “qualified error” at its July or December Board of Review and those corrections or the refusal to make such corrections can be appealed to the Tribunal. Those appeals must be filed: In addition to the correction of clerical errors or mutual mistakes of fact, local units of government can correct a “qualified error” at its July or December Board of Review and those corrections or the refusal to make such corrections can be appealed to the Tribunal. Those appeals must be filed: For 2006, within 30 days of the issuance of notice of a “53b” correction. MCL For 2007 and subsequent tax years, within 35 days of “53b” issuance of notice of the correction. MCL a

26 26 Pleading and Motion Practice – Small Claims MCL requires the filing of a petition to initiate an appeal. MCL requires the filing of a petition to initiate an appeal. Small Claims appeal are, however, typically initiated by a letter of appeal. Small Claims appeal are, however, typically initiated by a letter of appeal. Letters of appeal treated as defective petitions that are cured by the completion and timely returned of a Small Claims petition form. Letters of appeal treated as defective petitions that are cured by the completion and timely returned of a Small Claims petition form. TTR 320 A Small Claims petition form is available on the Tribunal’s website. A Small Claims petition form is available on the Tribunal’s website.

27 27 Pleading and Motion Practice – Small Claims The Tribunal no longer defects Petitioner’s for failing to properly complete a Small Claims petition form or pay the required fee. Rather, the Tribunal will place the Petitioner in default. The Tribunal no longer defects Petitioner’s for failing to properly complete a Small Claims petition form or pay the required fee. Rather, the Tribunal will place the Petitioner in default. Once the completed petition form has been returned and “verified,” the Tribunal sends a Small Claims answer form to the local unit of government. Once the completed petition form has been returned and “verified,” the Tribunal sends a Small Claims answer form to the local unit of government.

28 28 Pleading and Motion Practice – Small Claims A copy of the answer form must be served on the petitioner’s authorized representative or the petitioner, if the petitioner does not have an authorized representative. A copy of the answer form must be served on the petitioner’s authorized representative or the petitioner, if the petitioner does not have an authorized representative. TTR 332 If the answer form is not completed and returned, the Tribunal will notify the respondent that it has been placed in default and, if the default is not timely cured, the Tribunal will conduct a Small Claims default hearing. If the answer form is not completed and returned, the Tribunal will notify the respondent that it has been placed in default and, if the default is not timely cured, the Tribunal will conduct a Small Claims default hearing. TTR 247

29 29 Pleading and Motion Practice – Small Claims Evidence must be filed and exchanged at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled Small Claims hearing or it may be excluded. TTR 342 Evidence must be filed and exchanged at least 14 days in advance of the scheduled Small Claims hearing or it may be excluded. TTR 342 There is no discovery in the Small Claims Division except by leave of the Tribunal. TTR 111 There is no discovery in the Small Claims Division except by leave of the Tribunal. TTR 111 There is a limited motion practice in the Small Claims Division. There is a limited motion practice in the Small Claims Division.

30 30 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal A formal petition is required to initiate an Entire Tribunal appeal. A formal petition is required to initiate an Entire Tribunal appeal. The petition must be served on the assessor and the city clerk or township supervisor or clerk, as appropriate, by certified mail. The petition must also be served on school board, the county equalization director, and county clerk. That service may be made by first class mail. MCL , MCL a, and TTR 208. The petition must be served on the assessor and the city clerk or township supervisor or clerk, as appropriate, by certified mail. The petition must also be served on school board, the county equalization director, and county clerk. That service may be made by first class mail. MCL , MCL a, and TTR 208. Failure to provide a proof of service will result in the placement of the petitioner in default. TTR 247. Failure to provide a proof of service will result in the placement of the petitioner in default. TTR 247.

31 31 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal Petitions are required to contain separately numbered paragraphs with each paragraph limited to a single statement of fact. Petitions are required to contain separately numbered paragraphs with each paragraph limited to a single statement of fact. TTR 240 The Tribunal does not generally review petitions for strict compliance with TTR 240. The Tribunal does not generally review petitions for strict compliance with TTR 240.

32 32 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal The respondent is required to file an answer or a responsive motion (i.e., a motion to strike, motion for clarification, motion to dismiss, etc.) The respondent is required to file an answer or a responsive motion (i.e., a motion to strike, motion for clarification, motion to dismiss, etc.) Answers are required to contain separately numbered paragraphs corresponding to the numbered paragraphs in the petition that admit, deny, or neither admit nor deny the facts alleged in the petition. TTR 245 Answers are required to contain separately numbered paragraphs corresponding to the numbered paragraphs in the petition that admit, deny, or neither admit nor deny the facts alleged in the petition. TTR 245 Failure to provide a proof of service will result in the placement of the respondent in default. TTR 247. Failure to provide a proof of service will result in the placement of the respondent in default. TTR 247.

33 33 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal Motions are written requests for action and require the payment of a filing fee and a proof of service. Motions are written requests for action and require the payment of a filing fee and a proof of service. If the filing fee is not paid, the moving party will be defected for the fee. If the defect is not cured, there will be no action taken on the motion. If the filing fee is not paid, the moving party will be defected for the fee. If the defect is not cured, there will be no action taken on the motion. Letters requesting action will not be acted as they are not considered to be motions. Letters requesting action will not be acted as they are not considered to be motions.

34 34 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal Motions to amend to include a subsequent tax year’s assessment must be filed by filing deadline provided by statute (i.e., May 31, 2007 or July 31, 2007, as appropriate). Motions to amend to include a subsequent tax year’s assessment must be filed by filing deadline provided by statute (i.e., May 31, 2007 or July 31, 2007, as appropriate). Problems have arisen with petitions addressing assessed and taxable value, motions to amend addressing taxable value only, and subsequent stipulations addressing assessed and taxable values for all tax years at issue. Problems have arisen with petitions addressing assessed and taxable value, motions to amend addressing taxable value only, and subsequent stipulations addressing assessed and taxable values for all tax years at issue.

35 35 Pleading and Motion Practice – Entire Tribunal Tribunal Notice provides specific criteria for the filing of motions to extend the time for the filing and exchange of valuation disclosures and prehearing statements. Tribunal Notice provides specific criteria for the filing of motions to extend the time for the filing and exchange of valuation disclosures and prehearing statements. If the criteria is not met, the motion will be denied unless good cause has been shown to grant the motion. On-going settlement discussions, the hiring of a new authorized representative, or the beginning or belated enforcement of discovery are not considered good cause for the granting of such motions. If the criteria is not met, the motion will be denied unless good cause has been shown to grant the motion. On-going settlement discussions, the hiring of a new authorized representative, or the beginning or belated enforcement of discovery are not considered good cause for the granting of such motions.

36 36 New Legislation – HB 6168 The bill would: Provide for mediation of property tax matters. Mediation is not a substitute for settlement negotiations. Rather, mediation would be an additional “mechanism” to achieve resolution without hearing. Mediation would be voluntary. Parties would jointly select a mediator from list of mediators certified for mediation by the Tribunal. Statements and submissions made during mediation would not be subject to disclosure without the written consent of all parties.

37 37 New Legislation – HB 6169 The bill would: Provide for issuance of proposed Small Claims decisions by administrative law judges. Permit the Tribunal to keep its annual fee revenue. Permit the Tribunal to keep its annual fee revenue.

38 38 New Legislation – HB 6170 The bill would: Increase the Small Claims Division jurisdictional limitation for non-property tax matters and special assessments from $6,000 to $20,000. Permit the use of Small Claims procedures in an Entire Tribunal appeal. Provide for the filing of exceptions to a Proposed Opinion and Judgment rendered by a hearing officer (i.e., administrative law judge) or hearing referee. Tribunal members will consider the exceptions, if any, and the case files and determine whether the proposed decisions should be adopted, modified, or a rehearing held. Formalize the conducting of telephonic Small Claims hearings and provide for the conducting of Small Claims in-person hearings at locations mutually agreed upon by all parties and the Tribunal.

39 39 New Legislation – HB 6171 The bill would: The bill would: Remove the limitation on the number of Tribunal members of the same professional discipline. This removal would widen the pool of candidates for appointment and permit the appointment of multi-discipline professionals (i.e., assessor/appraisers; assessor/accountants; assessor/attorneys; etc.)

40 40 Administrative Rule Changes Case Information Statement to be filed with Petition Case Information Statement to be filed with Petition Case Management Conference versus Counsel Conference Case Management Conference versus Counsel Conference Witness Lists, Prehearing Statements, Exhibit Lists Witness Lists, Prehearing Statements, Exhibit Lists Stipulation of Facts Stipulation of Facts Expert Witnesses – Valuation Disclosure or Written Summary Expert Witnesses – Valuation Disclosure or Written Summary Non-Property Scheduling Orders – Property Implications Non-Property Scheduling Orders – Property Implications

41 41 Case Updates: Survey

42 42 Discussion of Michigan Cases Local Requirements Prior to Board of Review Local Requirements Prior to Board of Review Calculating Taxable Value for Property Under Construction Calculating Taxable Value for Property Under Construction Transfer of Ownership & Uncapping Transfer of Ownership & Uncapping Additions and Losses Additions and Losses Equalization Ratios Equalization Ratios Property Tax Exemption Cases Property Tax Exemption Cases Mutual Mistake of Fact Mutual Mistake of Fact

43 43 Local Requirements Prior to Board of Review AERC of Michigan, LLC v City of Grand Rapids, 266 Mich App 717; 702 NW2d 692 (2005) AERC of Michigan, LLC v City of Grand Rapids, 266 Mich App 717; 702 NW2d 692 (2005) Fink v City of Detroit, 124 Mich App 44; 333 NW2d 376 (1983) Fink v City of Detroit, 124 Mich App 44; 333 NW2d 376 (1983) Freund v City of Flint, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided December 8, 1989, (Docket No ) Freund v City of Flint, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided December 8, 1989, (Docket No )

44 44 Calculating Taxable Value for Property Under Construction Kok v Cascade Charter Township, 265 Mich App 413; 695 NW2d 545 (2005) Kok v Cascade Charter Township, 265 Mich App 413; 695 NW2d 545 (2005) DeSanto v Township of Northville, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided March 14, 2006, (Docket No ) DeSanto v Township of Northville, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided March 14, 2006, (Docket No )

45 45 Transfer of Ownership & Uncapping Signature Villas, LLC v City of Ann Arbor, COA Co (February 14, 2006) Signature Villas, LLC v City of Ann Arbor, COA Co (February 14, 2006) Colonial Square Cooperative v City of Ann Arbor, 263 Mich App 208; 687 NW2d 618 (2004) Colonial Square Cooperative v City of Ann Arbor, 263 Mich App 208; 687 NW2d 618 (2004)

46 46 Transfer of Ownership & Uncapping Small Claims Decisions Nelson v Village of Leroy, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006) Nelson v Village of Leroy, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006) Nelson v Village of Leroy, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006) Nelson v Village of Leroy, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006)

47 47 Transfer of Ownership & Uncapping HRTW, LLC v Township of Delta, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006) HRTW, LLC v Township of Delta, (MTT Docket No , February 28, 2006) Lakewood Cottages, LLC v Township of Sanilac, (MTT Docket No , January 6, 2005) Lakewood Cottages, LLC v Township of Sanilac, (MTT Docket No , January 6, 2005)

48 48 Additions and Losses WPW Acquisitions v City of Troy, 466 Mich 117; 643 NW2d 564 (2002) WPW Acquisitions v City of Troy, 466 Mich 117; 643 NW2d 564 (2002) City of Southfield v Cranbrook Centre, LP, and Americenter of Southfield, CZ-set for pretrial 07/12/06 City of Southfield v Cranbrook Centre, LP, and Americenter of Southfield, CZ-set for pretrial 07/12/06 Issue: Whether a reduction in the property’s occupancy rate entitles Petitioner to a reduction in taxable value as a “loss” pursuant to MCL d(h)(iii). Issue: Whether a reduction in the property’s occupancy rate entitles Petitioner to a reduction in taxable value as a “loss” pursuant to MCL d(h)(iii).

49 49 Equalization Ratios Steelcase Inc v City of Kenwood, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided September 20, 2005, (Docket No )

50 50 Property Tax Exemption Cases Poverty Exemptions Mandel v City of Oak Park, (MTT Docket No , August 15, 2002) Precedential decision Mandel v City of Oak Park, (MTT Docket No , August 15, 2002) Precedential decision Masters v City of Mason, (MTT Docket No , April 14, 2004) Masters v City of Mason, (MTT Docket No , April 14, 2004)

51 51 Property Tax Exemption Cases Conservation Easements Michigan Nature Association v Township of Saugatuck, (MTT Docket No , November 10, 2004) Michigan Nature Association v Township of Saugatuck, (MTT Docket No , November 10, 2004) Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, online courses: Valuing Land Affected by Conservation Easements Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, online courses: Valuing Land Affected by Conservation Easements

52 52 Property Tax Exemption Cases Charitable Exemptions Wexford Medical Group v City of Cadillac, 474 Mich 192; 713 NW2d 734 (2006): Primary issue was “…whether the Tax Tribunal or the judiciary may impose a threshold level of charitable care or public health services when the Legislature has not done so.” Wexford Medical Group v City of Cadillac, 474 Mich 192; 713 NW2d 734 (2006): Primary issue was “…whether the Tax Tribunal or the judiciary may impose a threshold level of charitable care or public health services when the Legislature has not done so.”

53 53 Property Tax Exemption Cases City-owned Property City of Mount Pleasant v State Tax Commission, 267 Mich App 1; 703 NW2d 227 (2005) City of Mount Pleasant v State Tax Commission, 267 Mich App 1; 703 NW2d 227 (2005) Leave to Appeal was GRANTED on January 13, The issue is “…limited to whether MCL 211.7m exempts property from taxation on the basis that it is ‘used for public purposes’ within the meaning of that statutory provision when the property is being assembled and prepared with infrastructure for eventual sale for economic development purposes that have been determined by the city to be in the public interest.” Leave to Appeal was GRANTED on January 13, The issue is “…limited to whether MCL 211.7m exempts property from taxation on the basis that it is ‘used for public purposes’ within the meaning of that statutory provision when the property is being assembled and prepared with infrastructure for eventual sale for economic development purposes that have been determined by the city to be in the public interest.”

54 54 Mutual Mistake of Fact Ford Motor Company v City of Woodhaven, et al, 475 Mich 425; 716 NW2d 247 (2006) Ford Motor Company v City of Woodhaven, et al, 475 Mich 425; 716 NW2d 247 (2006) MCL b MCL b

55 55 Stipulations and Consent Judgments

56 56 Stipulations & Consent Judgments CONNIE’S TOP TEN REASONS WHY YOUR STIPULATION ARE NOT ACCEPTED: Failure to provide justification (and/or calculations) for the reduction of the taxable value to a figure lower than the assessed value. Failure to provide justification (and/or calculations) for the reduction of the taxable value to a figure lower than the assessed value. Failure to provide original signature(s). Failure to provide original signature(s). Failure to submit an original stipulation. Failure to submit an original stipulation. Including a year in the stipulation over which the Tribunal has no jurisdiction. Including a year in the stipulation over which the Tribunal has no jurisdiction. Failure to pay the $25 filing fee for the stipulation following issuance of a defect letter. Failure to pay the $25 filing fee for the stipulation following issuance of a defect letter. Principal Residence/Qualified Agricultural Exemption cases: Principal Residence/Qualified Agricultural Exemption cases: Failure to provide a signature by the unit that denied the exemption. Failure to provide a signature by the unit that denied the exemption. Inclusion of a year not previously denied. Inclusion of a year not previously denied. Assessor’s Stipulations (a stipulation asking the Tribunal to take jurisdiction where no case is currently pending): Failure to specify in detail the mutual mistake and/or clerical error at issue. Assessor’s Stipulations (a stipulation asking the Tribunal to take jurisdiction where no case is currently pending): Failure to specify in detail the mutual mistake and/or clerical error at issue. Failure of an agent who signs the stipulation to file an appearance. Failure of an agent who signs the stipulation to file an appearance. The stipulation includes the assessed and state equalized values when only the taxable value was initially appealed. The stipulation includes the assessed and state equalized values when only the taxable value was initially appealed. Poverty appeals: The stipulation reflects only a loss to the taxable value; a loss to a property should reflect a loss to both the state equalized and taxable values. Poverty appeals: The stipulation reflects only a loss to the taxable value; a loss to a property should reflect a loss to both the state equalized and taxable values. Bonus - Erratas Bonus - Erratas If the Tribunal makes an error on a Consent Judgment or Opinion and Judgment, upon written notification of the error, the Tribunal will issue an Erratum. If the parties submit incorrect information to the Tribunal on the Stipulation, then the parties must file a motion to correct the Consent Judgment.

57 57 Mediation: A Tool for Resolution & Revenue

58 58 Do’s & Don’ts

59 59 Do’s & Don’ts PREFACE MORE hearings MORE hearings MORE timely decisions MORE timely decisions THIS IS WHAT WE NEED…

60 60 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DO’s… DO’s… Mind deadlines…for yourself…vacations, leave, illness, etc. Mind deadlines…for yourself…vacations, leave, illness, etc. For your colleagues…cover the municipality’s behind!...(a bad hearing is a bad result) For your colleagues…cover the municipality’s behind!...(a bad hearing is a bad result) Submit adjournment and rescheduling requests ASAP Submit adjournment and rescheduling requests ASAP Submit evidence timely…anticipate the work Submit evidence timely…anticipate the work Mediation/agreement is your friend Mediation/agreement is your friend

61 61 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DO’s… DO’s… Look at Petitioner’s evidence and be prepared to comment…same comp’s Look at Petitioner’s evidence and be prepared to comment…same comp’s Submit information before the hearing…don’t surprise the judge Submit information before the hearing…don’t surprise the judge Per s.f. analysis < valuation disclosure Per s.f. analysis < valuation disclosure Poverty exemptions…be proactive with BOR Poverty exemptions…be proactive with BOR Appraisers alone < adequate coverage Appraisers alone < adequate coverage

62 62 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DO’s… DO’s… Contact the attorney ASAP...facilitates counsel conferences, exchange of meaningful information…keeps the target in site Contact the attorney ASAP...facilitates counsel conferences, exchange of meaningful information…keeps the target in site Create a good working relationship with the attorney…cuts expenses and keeps revenues in the long run Create a good working relationship with the attorney…cuts expenses and keeps revenues in the long run Make sure all three approaches to value are considered and documented to the fact…including the concluding value methodology Make sure all three approaches to value are considered and documented to the fact…including the concluding value methodology Narratives go a long way to bridge the gaps between mass appraisal and subject property valuation Narratives go a long way to bridge the gaps between mass appraisal and subject property valuation Bring market studies to support valuations Bring market studies to support valuations An ounce of prevention=a pound of cure!

63 63 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’T… be late DON’T… be late DO map out the route DO map out the route DO come early DO come early DO listen to the weather reports DO listen to the weather reports DON’T… ignore/dismiss evidence of opposing party as being inadequate DON’T… ignore/dismiss evidence of opposing party as being inadequate DO come prepared to discuss evidence submitted by opposing party, no matter its content/form DO come prepared to discuss evidence submitted by opposing party, no matter its content/form

64 64 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’T… take your familiarity for granted DON’T… take your familiarity for granted DO become familiar with what you are submitting DO become familiar with what you are submitting DO assist your “team” in the presentation of your evidence DO assist your “team” in the presentation of your evidence DO have sales, income and expense, and cost information plus verification DO have sales, income and expense, and cost information plus verification DO have sources of information used DO have sources of information used DO have appraisal process followed, techniques used and calculations made (check your math!) DO have appraisal process followed, techniques used and calculations made (check your math!) DO consider hypotheticals DO consider hypotheticals

65 65 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’T… minimize the importance of testimony DON’T… minimize the importance of testimony DO speak slowly and clearly DO speak slowly and clearly DO provide concise explanations DO provide concise explanations DO use NON-technical terms DO use NON-technical terms DO be friendly, positive, consistent, confident and polite DO be friendly, positive, consistent, confident and polite DO be mindful to adjust to pressures DO be mindful to adjust to pressures

66 66 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’T… make excuses for being unprepared…i.e. DON’T whine! DON’T… make excuses for being unprepared…i.e. DON’T whine! DO prepare, prepare and prepare! DO prepare, prepare and prepare! DO take responsibility for defending the appraisal/assessment and the evidence DO take responsibility for defending the appraisal/assessment and the evidence DO take the attorney up on the offer to prepare---it is not beneath you to do so!...meet regularly DO take the attorney up on the offer to prepare---it is not beneath you to do so!...meet regularly

67 67 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’Ts…in general DON’Ts…in general Expect to “wing it” in the hearing Expect to “wing it” in the hearing Use technical terms Use technical terms Continue to finish a statement under objection, STOP! Continue to finish a statement under objection, STOP! Take the process personally Take the process personally Argue with the Judge or the opposing parties Argue with the Judge or the opposing parties

68 68 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DON’Ts…in general DON’Ts…in general Be an advocate except for your own objective opinion of value Be an advocate except for your own objective opinion of value Answer a question unless you understand the question Answer a question unless you understand the question Be unfamiliar with your evidence and have to fumble through the pages looking for information Be unfamiliar with your evidence and have to fumble through the pages looking for information Assume that the appraisal report will “stand on its own” Assume that the appraisal report will “stand on its own”

69 69 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DO’s…in general DO’s…in general Come prepared to explain/defend the work product of others upon whom you relied Come prepared to explain/defend the work product of others upon whom you relied Provide concise explanations Provide concise explanations Keep thoughts orderly and systematic Keep thoughts orderly and systematic Listen to the full question before answering Listen to the full question before answering If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification Exercise your oral communication skills Exercise your oral communication skills

70 70 Do’s & Don’ts (con’t) DO’s…in general DO’s…in general Prepare by playing devil’s advocate Prepare by playing devil’s advocate When possible use “yes” and “no” When possible use “yes” and “no” Face the Judge when responding Face the Judge when responding Leave sarcasm and egos at the door Leave sarcasm and egos at the door Be familiar with your appraisal Be familiar with your appraisal Analyze other cases (e.g. Judge’s opinions, testimony transcripts) Analyze other cases (e.g. Judge’s opinions, testimony transcripts)

71 71 YOUR Perspective… What can WE do for you?

72 72 Listserve Inclusion To be included on the Tribunal’s Listserve, e mail: Subject: Subscribe

73 73 For more information, please contact the Tribunal’s internet address at OR contact the Tribunal at: Michigan Tax Tribunal PO Box Lansing, MI PH: 517/ FAX: 517/ Michigan Tax Tribunal


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