Tax Appeal Interest Rate Legislation Passes House
One of AAM’s top legislative priorities, House Bill 5340, was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives on May 2nd by a vote of 88-22. Under current state law, there is a wide disparity between the interest rate applied to Michigan Tax Tribunal appeals versus tax delinquencies. Late property tax payments can incur interest charges as high as 18 percent, but the current rate applied to refunds is just over 1 percent, creating a fundamental fairness issue. HB 5340 amends the Tax Tribunal Act so the interest rate on Tribunal tax appeals would be 2 percentage points above the adjusted prime rate (this is the average prime rate quoted by not less than 3 commercial banks and determined by the Department of Treasury). Successful enactment of this legislation would create a new floating interest rate which, although not equal to the high interest rate on delinquencies, will help to close the unfair gap in rates which currently exists. This legislation will also help to speed the appeal process by providing an incentive for local governments to seek timely case resolution. The bill now goes before the Senate Finance Committee for action. AAM is partnering with the Michigan Chapter of the International Council of Shopping Centers in this legislative effort. Our thanks to Rep. Jud Gilbert (R-81st District) for sponsoring this important legislation.
Property Disposal Legislation Introduced
New legislation named the “Eviction Procedures and Personal Property Disposal Act” has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. House Bill 5578 would require a landlord, at the time a tenant is evicted, to place a large moveable container on site and place the tenant’s property in the container. The container must be removed within 48 hours, or the landlord is subject to a state civil infraction as well as a fine of up to $500. AAM is opposing this legislation.
HUD Issues Revised Bed Bug Guidelines
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a revision of its bed bug guidance (Notice H 2012-5). This revision came at the request of a coalition of real estate interests, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Apartment Association (NAA), after multiple meetings and written correspondence with HUD staff to outline industry concerns with the original guidance, issued last year. The revised guidance applies to properties assisted with Section 8 Project-Based Assistance, properties with certain Sections 202 and 811 funding, and FHA-insured properties. The full notice can be viewed on the HUD website at www.hud.gov, then type in “Notice H 2012-5″ in the search box.