The Michigan Senate today approved state Rep. Peter Lucido’s bill protecting taxpayers from unfair personal liability lawsuits in property tax cases.
Lucido’s legislation makes sure that a person is not responsible for any unpaid property taxes or special assessments unless they owned the property at the time the tax bill came due.
“This is a taxpayers’ rights issue, plain and simple,” Lucido, of Shelby Township, said after the Senate vote. “If you paid your taxes when you owned a property, you shouldn’t have to fend off groundless lawsuits.”
The legislation would prevent lawsuits or other collection efforts against a prior owner of a property that has been transferred to a new owner, including cases where the transfer was misreported or unrecorded. Under the current law, previous owners in some cases have settled suits by paying a portion of unpaid property taxes they likely were not responsible for to avoid a more expensive legal battle.
The bill also would protect current property owners from unfair lawsuits trying to collect back taxes owed by previous owners.
Lucido’s bill returns to the House to consider Senate changes. The House already has approved the bill once, meaning it soon should be on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration.
The legislation is House Bill 4285.