Michigan 2015 mid-year legislative update

Posted on

Michigan State Capitol (Credit: Jan Davis Ruthig)

Michigan State Capitol (Credit: Jan Davis Ruthig)

This is a new monthly update tailored for Michiganders who work on challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and community development. We’re tracking bills in the state legislature to help you stay in the loop on relevant policy activity!

The 2015-2016 Session of the Michigan Legislature kicked off on January 14, 2015. The Michigan House of Representatives adjourned for the summer on June 18, 2015, while the Michigan Senate is continuing to meet through the summer to consider transportation-funding legislation.

Below is a summary of laws passed and legislation introduced from January through June 2015 that may be of interest to Michigan’s vacant and problem properties innovators. We have organized the laws and legislation under following categories for ease of reference. Please note that the categorization is approximate and subject to change as bills move through the legislative process.

Code Enforcement

Senate Bill 394 (Pending, Senate Committee on Local Government) – would amend MI law affecting which municipalities may do inspections, including code enforcement inspections, under Michigan Housing Law. Sen. David B. Robertson (R, Senate District 14) introduced this legislation on June 11, 2015.

Local Government

Senate Bill 394 – see full description under Code Enforcement.

House Bill 4075 (Passed – Public Act 39) – restricts the fees that county treasurers can charge for responding to public records requests. Rep. Bruce Rendon (R, House District 103), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on January 27, 2015. Signed into law by Governor Snyder on June 2, 2015. Governor Snyder stated, “Any Michigan resident who wants to obtain property tax information should be able to do so, easily and without high cost. This new law ensures real estate transactions will be affordable and transparent statewide.”

House Bill 4681 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – would allow units of local government to charge user fees for public services that are underfunded through current revenue collected from property taxes. Rep. Scott Dianda (D, House District 110), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on June 4, 2015.

Property Tax

Assessment

House Bill 4211 (Pending, Floor of the House) – would eliminate the State Education Tax levied as an ad valorem tax on real property. Approved by the House Committee on Tax Policy on June 17, 2015. Rep. Lisa Lyons (R, House District 86) introduced this legislation on Feb. 17, 2015.

House Bill 4213 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – would limit when a property’s taxable value may increase due to a rise in property value. Rep. Lisa Lyons (R, House District 86) introduced this legislation on Feb. 17, 2015.

House Bill 4681 – see full description under Local Government.

Collection
House Bill 4201 (Pending, House Committee on Local Government) – would require that when counties collect property taxes, they must spend at least 75% of the proceeds within the city, village, or township where the property is located. Rep. Pat Somerville (R, House District 23) introduced this legislation on Feb. 17, 2015.

Exemptions/Credits

Senate Bill 81 (Pending, Floor of the House) – would amend current MI law that allows banks to claim a principal residence exemption (PRE) on property that the bank acquires through foreclosure or forfeiture under certain conditions. Legislation would reduce the number of years from 3 to 2 that a bank may claim the exemption and would eliminate the requirement that a bank pay an amount equal to the taxes it would have paid, to the local tax-collecting unit for school operating expenses. Introduced in the House on February 26, 2015, and approved by the House Committee on Tax Policy on March 25, 2015. Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R, Senate District 8), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on Feb. 5, 2015, and this legislation passed the Senate (33-4-1) on Feb. 26, 2015.

House Bill 4370 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – would expand the homestead income tax credit. Rep. Holly Hughes (R, House District 91), primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on Mar. 24, 2015.

House Bill 4620 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – would allow for a principal residence exemption (PRE) reduction in property tax to be retroactively applied in instances when a resident was first denied for PRE but then won an appeal. Rep. Dave Pagel (R, House District 78) introduced this legislation on May 19, 2015.

Notice of Delinquency

Senate Bill 349 (Pending, Floor of the Senate) – would clarify when country treasurers must send the June 1 and September 1 notices of delinquent property taxes. Approved by the Senate Committee on Finance on June 17, 2015. Sen. Jim Stamas (R, Senate District 36), primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on May 21, 2015.

House Bill 4039 (Pending, Senate Committee on Local Government) – would allow county treasurers to publish notice of delinquent property taxes only twice (for two weeks) instead of three times (for three weeks) in a published newspaper or online, if no newspaper is published in the county where the property is located. Rep. Jon Bumstead (R, House District 100) introduced this legislation on Jan. 21, 2015, and this legislation passed the House (93-17) on June 17, 2015.

Property Tax Foreclosure

Senate Bill 17 (Pending, Senate Committee on Local Government) – would require that tax auction sale proceeds that exceed the amount of delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees must be refunded to the previous homeowner in certain situations. Sen. Rick Jones (R, Senate District 24) introduced this legislation on Jan. 20, 2015.

Occupied Properties

House Bill 4038 (Passed – Public Act 36) – allows landlords to deliver electronic notice of eviction under certain conditions and with the tenant’s consent. Rep. Anthony Forlini (R, House District 24) introduced the legislation on January 21, 2015.

House Bill 4673 (Pending, House Committee on Judiciary) – would impose additional requirements on property owners when evicting occupants who are there without the owners’ permission. Rep. LaTanya Garrett (D, House District 7), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on June 2, 2015.

Download the full PDF here.