January 2018

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

The “Dark Store” Valuation Controversy

By: David E. Nykanen, Friedlaender, Nykanen & Rogowski PLC

In 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals confirmed the Michigan Tax Tribunal’s valuation of a Lowe’s store utilizing the sales comparison appraisal approach. Lowe's Home Ctrs. v. Twp. of Marquette, 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 756. The Tribunal had adopted the comparable sale values of vacant and available (or “dark”) retail stores proffered by the taxpayer. This analysis reduced the Lowe’s store’s assessed value. The result in Lowe’s led to protests by municipalities throughout the state. In response, legislators introduced several bills that attempted to control the Tax Tribunal’s analysis of properties like those addressed in Lowe’s. See 2015–2016 HB 5578; 2017–2018 SB 578 and HB 4397.

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COA: Property Taxes Aren’t “Obligations”

PACEBy Alexandra Dieck, Bodman PLC

In tax foreclosure proceedings, practitioners should proceed with caution when advising clients on county-approved repayment plans. The client may lose the property anyway.

In October, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a county can still foreclose on a property despite the existence of a repayment plan between the owner and the county. See Lancaster & York, LLC v. Oakland County Treasurer, Mich App No. 333063, Oct. 17, 2017. The plaintiff in Lancaster owned two commercial parcels in Oakland County. After the treasurer filed certificates of forfeiture, the plaintiff entered into two repayment plans for the delinquent taxes, one for each parcel, with taxes totaling over $120,000. Less than two weeks later, the county sought a judgment of foreclosure for each parcel and subsequently foreclosed.

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Legislative Report

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January 18, 2018
Condominium Law: Representing Developers, Associations, and Co-Owners
Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 a.m. | Roundtables: 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St, Birmingham
Register: online or mail form

March 1-3, 2018

2018 Winter Conference
Building the Future: Real Estate Lessons from Past & Present
Encore at the Wynn Las Vegas
Register online or by mail
Book a Room

Write an Article

Interested in writing an article for the e-Newsletter? Contact co-editors Glen Zatz gzatz@bodmanlaw.com, Howard Lax HLax@bodmanlaw.com, or Pat Paruch pat.paruch50@gmail.com.

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.