Lawn Care Company Denied Agricultural Sales and Use Tax Exemption in Michigan

The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision stating that a lawn care company is not entitled to the state’s agricultural exemption for property it uses to maintain lawns and landscaping. The lawn care company had argued that it is entitled to the agricultural exemption because it “plants” grass and “cares for things of the soil.” In the Court’s order, one of the justices referred to the lower court’s decision, which stated that the company’s interpretation of the exemption “…reduces the statute’s meaning to a couple of selectively harvested words and buries the balance of the text. This approach risks an interpretation in tension with the whole text’s most logical and natural meaning. Rather than plucking words from the statute, we focus on the whole textual landscape.” As such, the Court ruled that the company is not entitled to the agricultural exemption.

(TruGreen Limited Partnership v Department of Treasury, Case No. 163515, Michigan Supreme Court)

Posted on July 13, 2023