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Is a Township Deputy Treasurer permitted to hold a position on the Township Board of Review?

Not Likely. The Deputy Treasurer and a board or review member appear to be incompatible offices. The Incompatible Offices Act, 556 PA 1978, prohibits a public officer or employee from holding 2 or more incompatible offices at the same time. MCL 15.181(2). The Act establishes a three-part test to determine whether two positions are “incompatible.” If one position: (1) subordinates another position; (2) supervises another position; or (3) causes a breach of duty of public offices, then holding those two positions constitutes an incompatible office and an individual must step down from one of the positions to avoid the incompatibility issue.

The Attorney General, who regularly opines on these issues, has not opined on whether a Deputy Treasurer may also hold a position on the Board of Review. However, the General Property Tax Act, Act 206 of 1893, states: “A member of the township board is not eligible to serve on the board [of review].” MCL 211.28. The Attorney General has opined that because the Deputy Treasurer assists the Treasurer in his or her duties and must step into the Treasurer’s role in the event the Treasurer is unable to perform, the Deputy Treasurer is subject to the same legislation and restrictions as the Treasurer. See Michigan Attorney General Opinion 7198.

Thus, in light of the Attorney General opinion and the Deputy Treasurer’s statutory requirement to fill the role of the Township Treasurer in his or her absence, it appears that the Deputy Treasurer should not be placed on the Township Board of Review.

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