New Michigan Statute That Can Help Keep Your Farm in the Family

Beginning December 31, 2013, transferring property to your parent, child, or sibling will NOT be considered a change in ownership for property tax purposes, if the property is residential and remains residential. Normally, when property is sold to a new owner, the county recalculates the taxable value. That usually means an increase in property taxes. What this new law means is that if you live on your farm, and deed it to your children, they may be able to continue paying property tax at the same rate you've been paying.

A similar situation can apply for agricultural property that isn't residential. But, the rules for property transfer are long, and complex. The State of Michigan publishes a "helpful" guideline, which is currently at 124 pages as of December, 2013. (Update: As of April 8, 2014 it's now only 42 pages. The state removed the appendix.)

How these rules apply to you will depend on your situation. Feel free to contact me for advice particular to your needs.