LANSING, MI – March 19, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — With property taxes across the state continuing to rise even as home values plummet, Senate Democrats refused today to support a constitutional amendment designed to provide desperately needed relief to homeowners, said Sen. Cameron S. Brown.
“Senate Joint Resolution H was a simple step the Legislature could have taken to provide real property tax relief to homeowners,” said Brown, R-Fawn River Township. “Unfortunately, it appears Michigan residents will continue to face the burden of rising property taxes even as their home values drop.”
Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote for passage, meaning at least 25 of the senators currently serving must support the measure. The reform failed by a vote of 23-11, with Democrats accounting for all 11 no votes.
SJR H would have amended the Michigan Constitution to prevent an individual’s residential property taxes from increasing from the previous year if the assessed value of their home decreased during the same period.
According to Bloomberg.com, home values in some areas of Michigan fell as much as 41 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, property taxes are still going up as much as 4.4 percent.
“This contradiction of property taxes going up even as home values have gone down has been one of the top concerns voiced by constituents in the 16th District,” said Brown. “Senate Joint Resolution H was a way to address this inequity. Instead, unfortunately, homeowners will continue to suffer.”
If a homeowner’s property tax assessment actually fell below the taxable value of their home, SJR H would have allowed for the taxable value to decrease with the lower assessment.