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A Better Partnership
February 13, 2013

Court of Appeals rules that Tax Tribunal's adoption of pre-trial assessment of property value was an independent assessment of properties' true value

In Pontiac Country Club v. Township of Waterford, the Court of Appeals concluded that the Tax Tribunal did not abandon its obligation to independently value the true value of the properties at issue by adopting the pre-trial assessment of the properties by the Township. The dispute arose after the Pontiac Country Club disputed the Township's assessment of the properties' value. At the hearing before the Tax Tribunal, both parties submitted expert testimony regarding the value. The Tax Tribunal rejected both experts' testimony. It found that Pontiac Country Club's expert was not credible and that the Township's revised valuation improperly considered hypothetical zoning changes. The Tax Tribunal concluded that the original assessment, which fell between each party's assessment in the litigation, was correct. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Tax Tribunal did not shirk its duty to independently assess true value by adopting an initial property assessment when that assessment was supported by testimony and fell within the extremes proposed by the parties.

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