A change in the personal property tax law for 2014 could give some small business owners some relief.
Effective December 31, 2013, commercial and industrial personal property with a combined true cash value of less than $80,000, is eligible for an exemption—but the exemption must be filed by February 10.
True cash value is the market value of all personal property owned by, leased by or in the possession of the owner or related entity, within a local tax-collecting unit.
To qualify for the exemption, the taxpayer must file the “eligible personal property exemption affidavit” with the local city or township. If it is not filed on time, the taxpayer will not receive the exemption. The affidavit form is available online at Michigan.gov and on the City of Cedar Springs website.
Taxpayers who qualify by filing on time, are not required to also file a personal property statement. But they still must maintain books and records relating to the description, date of purchase or acquisition, purchase or lease price, and value of all the industrial and commercial property for four years. They must make these records available to the local assessor, county equalization department, and the Department of Treasury upon request.
If the assessor believes that the property is not eligible, the assessor may deny the claim and notify the taxpayer of the reasons for the denial. A taxpayer may then appeal the denial before the Board of Review. Failure to file an exemption on time does not qualify as a denial and cannot be appealed.
Anyone who fraudulently claims an exemption for personal property would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of 30 days to 6 months and/or a fine of $500 to $2,500.
Taxpayers not eligible for the exemption must still file a personal property statement by February 20. Failure to file either a personal property statement or an exemption affidavit will result in an estimated assessment.
For more info, go to Michigan.gov/treasury.