As you know, PA 96 of 2008 created a new tax break for people who have moved to a new principal residence but have been unable to sell their previous principal residence. Under the new law, the owner is allowed to maintain a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) on their former home for up to 3 years if the home is vacant and for sale. This new law expands the Principal Residence Exemption to unsold homes, essentially allowing for two exemptions where homebuyers have their original property on the market but are now living in their new home elsewhere in the state.
To claim this tax break, the owner must file a Conditional Rescission of Principal Residence Exemption Form #4640 with their local assessor. Unfortunately, the bill was not signed until April of this year and that left a narrow window for taxpayers to file before the May 1 deadline in order to claim this benefit for 2008.
However, an amendment was inserted into Public Act 198 of 2008, allowing any homeowner who missed the May 1st deadline for the 2008 tax year to now file an appeal with their community's July or December 2008 Board of Review. This is a tremendous victory and offers property tax relief for homeowners in Michigan.
Individuals should contact local assessors for meeting dates and additional information. Traditionally, the July board of review has met the Tuesday following the third Monday in July (July 22 this year). A change in the law (PA 122 of 2008) allows communities to schedule their board of review any time that week. While most communities will meet on July 22, taxpayers should contact their local government to be sure they know when the board of review meets in order to submit Form #4640 to the board of review for consideration.
The ability to appeal to the board of review is for 2008 only. Homeowners will need to apply to keep their PRE by December 31 of the previous year. Homeowners can already file the form for 2009 with their local unit of government. For additional information, please check out www.Michigan.gov/treasury.
Download form here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/taxes/4640_231633_7.pdf
Ray Spitler, GRI, e-PRo, Certified Short Sale Expert