property tax

Charter schools could receive the same designation as public schools in a district's millage ballot under a bill narrowly approved by the Michigan House.

Legislators on Thursday voted 56-53 to pass an amendment to the General Property Tax Act allowing districts to describe charter schools as "public schools" when disbursing millage.

The initiative now heads to the Senate and follows a January law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder to let charter schools receive revenue from certain voter-approved property tax hikes. / DonkeyHotey

The Michigan Senate has voted to provide property tax relief to people who inherit a home after the death of a close relative.

The legislation approved unanimously Thursday would let heirs retain the principal residence exemption for up to two years.

Under current law, the principal exemption from school operating taxes expires at the end of the year in which the owner dies.

The bill's supporters say current law makes it hard on a decedent's estate or heirs.

After rigorous campaigning over the past few months, Kent ISD officials celebrated a win Tuesday evening as voters approved a new Kent ISD millage which will allocate $19.9 million each year for 10 years to 20 Kent County school districts. Named the 'Strong Schools, Strong Communities' proposal, 100 percent of the revenue generated by the new property tax increase will be distributed to the school districts. 

Mark Sanchez
Courtesy photo /

MiBiz takes a closer look at how the Trump Administration's immigration policy will impact the West Michigan economy. Also, Grand Rapids-based MC Sports files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Michigan's Tax Tribunal rules in favor of Spectrum Health in a property tax dispute with Grand Rapids Township.

Andrea_44 via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

Detroit has followed through on its threat to sue hundreds of financial institutions and other companies in an attempt to recoup $12.2 million in unpaid property taxes.

The city last month announced its plans to sue to get the money it says is owed from 2010-12 on more than 1,500 parcels of land.

The Detroit News reports the filings came as Wednesday was the deadline for Detroit to sue. | CC BY 2.0

More local government leaders are feeling insecure about their fiscal health than in years past.

A new study shows the first decline in feelings about fiscal health since the end of the Great Recession. Michigan’s economy is improving, but local government leaders across cities, counties, townships and villages are feeling stressed. 

This is the first decline in feelings on fiscal health since 2010.

File photo of Packard Plant.
Hilary Farrell

The owner of Detroit's blighted Packard automobile plant complex on the city's east side is asking City Council for a 12-year tax freeze while he develops the project.

Arte Express owner Fernando Palazuelo announced in November 2013 plans to restore and reopen the complex that had become a symbol of Detroit's decline.

Michigan lawmakers have taken a step toward helping communities that are being forced to issue large refunds to large stores in property tax disputes.

A bill approved 97-11 by the House Wednesday would require the Michigan Tax Tribunal to determine the highest and best use of a property and ensure that comparable properties have the same use.

Large retailers have successfully persuaded the tribunal to lower the assessed value of new big box stores by factoring in vacant "dark stores."

Local governments say their taxpayers will benefit from a state Court of Appeals ruling that deals with a property tax break loophole for big box retailers.  

Major retailers like Lowes, Menards, and Meijer have successfully argued property tax assessors should compare their stores to vacant properties to establish their value.

That’s cost local governments millions of dollars in lost property taxes.

Steve Currie is with the Michigan Association of Counties.

Fruitport Township voters approved a library funding increase and two public safety proposals on Tuesday.

A total of 2.5 mills for public safety and police operations will continue to be levied for the next five years.

The two together are expected to raise about $1.1 million annually.

The township’s three-year library millage is expected to raise $352,000 annually.

Voters also renewed a four-year, up-to 18.5 mill operating levy for Fruitport Community Schools.