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The WNJ Appellate Practice Group is one of the State’s premier appellate litigation practices. Our attorneys recently obtained an 8-1 victory in the United States Supreme Court, and have appeared in the U.S. Supreme Court more than 15 times. WNJ has also litigated in nearly every federal Circuit, recently argued in the Michigan Supreme Court, and participated in numerous Michigan Court of Appeals cases. The Appellate Practice Group has repeatedly achieved successful results for both parties and amicus curiae, and has been awarded the Distinguished Brief Award three times in the past four years for filing the most persuasive and scholarly brief in the Michigan Supreme Court. For more information, please visit our website.
  • 9/11/2014
  • COA limits the scope of real estate transfer tax exemption In the consolidated case of Gardner v. Department of Treasury, Nos. 315531, 315684 and 317171, the Court of Appeals addressed the applicability of a statutory exemption to the state's real estate transfer tax.  This exemption, found at MCL 207.526u, applies where (1) the principal residence exemption was claimed under MCL 211.7cc, and (2) the state equalized value (SEV) of the property at the time of sale was equal to, or less than, the SEV at the time of purchase.  That same statutory section, however, contains an exception to this exemption stating the seller will have to pay the tax (and potentially a penalty) if "the sale or transfer of property is found by the treasurer to be at a value other than the true cash value."  The Court looked to the annual property tax assessment process and interpreted "true cash value" as two times the property's SEV.  Thus, the majority opinion concluded that whenever a property is sold for more, or less, than two times the SEV, the seller will not be entitled to the transfer tax exemption.
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