Appeal from Tax Tribunal.
D. E. Holbrook, Jr., P. J., and D. E. Holbrook and T. M. Burns, JJ.
1. Taxation -- Statutes -- Tax Tribunal Act -- Assessment Appeals -- Condition Precedent.
A proceeding before the Tax Tribunal is original and independent and is conducted de novo, but in the case of an assessment appeal the valuation of the assessed property must first be protested before the local board of review (MCLA 205.735; MSA 7.650).
2. Taxation -- Personal Property Tax -- Tax Tribunal -- Administrative Law.
A petition to the Tax Tribunal for a redetermination of the petitioner's previous year's tax assessment was properly dismissed where the petitioner had not availed himself of the opportunity to claim certain personal property as exempt, paid the tax, did not avail himself of the opportunity to file a suit in circuit court for a refund, and did not protest the assessment before the board of review.
3. Taxation -- Personal Property Tax -- Exempt Property -- Board of Review -- Question of Fact.
A claim seeking a redetermination of an assessment for personal property taxes on property claimed to be exempt should be brought before the board of review where the question of the exemption is one of fact.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holbrook
Petition to the Michigan Tax Tribunal by Imerman Screw Products Company seeking a redetermination of plaintiff's personal property tax assessment by the City of Hamtramck and a refund of personal property taxes paid to the city. The County of Wayne intervened as a party defendant. Petition dismissed. Plaintiff appeals.
This is an appeal as of right from an order of the Michigan Tax Tribunal which denied plaintiff's motion for rehearing of an order of accelerated judgment dismissing plaintiff's petition and affirming a tax assessment against plaintiff Imerman by the City of Hamtramck.
The City of Hamtramck made an assessment on personal property owned by plaintiff based upon a tax statement form filed by plaintiff on February 20, 1974. The tax statement listed the value of plaintiff's personal property and did not claim an import immunity exemption as provided for on line 9 of the tax statement for imported merchandise for resale without further processing, or imported merchandise not yet committed to use. The assessment was made on February 21, 1974, and the tax bill was mailed on July 10, 1974. Plaintiff paid the taxes in two installments, the last being on December 26, 1974. On January 8, 1975 plaintiff filed a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal claiming an exemption, and seeking redetermination of its 1974 assessment and a refund of personal property taxes paid to the city. Plaintiff claimed that the tax paid was unconstitutionally levied upon imported raw steel in its original, unbroken packages, in violation of US Const, art I, § 10, clause 2. Defendant City of Hamtramck and intervening-defendant County of Wayne moved for dismissal of plaintiff's petition and entry of accelerated judgment under GCR 1963, 116, because of plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies by protesting the original assessment to the Hamtramck board of review. The Michigan Tax Tribunal granted the motion of defendants, and rendered the following opinion with which we find ourselves in substantial agreement:
"The issue squarely before this Tribunal is:
"'MUST A PETITIONER APPEAR BEFORE THE LOCAL BOARD OF REVIEW AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO MAINTAINING AN ACTION WITH THE TAX TRIBUNAL CONTESTING ...