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143281 - Toll Northville v Township of Northville

Toll Northville LP and Biltmore Wineman, L.L.C.,
David B. Marmon
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals
(Michigan Tax Tribunal)
Township of Northville,
Laura M. Hallahna
Amy K. Driscoll


​Toll Northville is a residential property developer. In 2000, the township of Northville increased the taxable value of a parcel of land owned by Toll Northville pursuant to MCL 211.34d(1)(b)(viii). That statute permitted a township to increase taxable property values attributable to public infrastructure improvements. Toll Northville did not challenge the assessment for tax year 2000 before the local Board of Review. In 2001, Toll Northville filed an appeal of its assessment for tax year 2001, claiming that MCL 211.34d(1)(b)(viii) was unconstitutional. Because the Tax Tribunal has no authority to rule on the statute’s constitutionality, the parties agreed, with the tribunal’s approval, that Toll Northville would resolve its constitutional claims through a declaratory judgment in circuit court, and that the case before the tribunal would be held in abeyance. Toll Northville filed the declaratory judgment action in circuit court later that year. The circuit court and the Court of Appeals ruled in Toll Northville’s favor; in 2008, the Michigan Supreme Court confirmed that the statute was unconstitutional.


This appeal arises from Toll Northville’s attempt to have the value of the unconstitutional additions removed from the taxable value of its property for tax years 2000 and later. The township objected, arguing that the taxable value could not be reduced because Toll Northville failed to challenge the assessment in 2000, when the unconstitutional additions were first used to increase the property’s taxable value. The Tax Tribunal rejected this argument, and ruled that Toll Northville was entitled to a reduction in the property’s taxable value, but only for tax years 2001 and after. The township appealed. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed. The Court of Appeals held that the Tax Tribunal had no jurisdiction to reduce the taxable value of the property because Toll Northville had not timely challenged the assessment increase in tax year 2000. Toll Northville appeals.