Since the voters of the State of Michigan approved Proposal A in March of 1994, Section 3 of Article IX of the State Constitution limits the value used to compute property taxes. The following definitions may be helpful in understanding the assessment process.
- Assessed Value - Value determined by the local assessor which is equal to 50% of true cash value. This value is changed annually regardless of changes in ownership.
- Capped Value -The increase in any one year is limited to 5% or the consumer price index, whichever is less. The Capped value is a mathematical calculation which is mandated by the State of Michigan, and no one on the local level has the authority to change it.
- Taxable Value - The value on which property taxes will be computed. This is either the assessed value or capped value, whichever is less.
- Market Value - This is the usual selling price of property on the open market with no stress or unusual conditions placed on the sale. This is not the actual selling price.
The Assessing Office is a valuable source of information for the public, maintaining data on each parcel of real property in the City as well as personal property subject to taxation. The City's assessment roll, field sheets, appraisal reports, legal descriptions, sales data, and lot and building sizes, are available to the public for inspection. Click here for more information.
Property Transfer Affidavit
Within 45 days of the property transfer, it is the buyer's responsibility to file a Property Transfer Affidavit with the Assessor under authority of P.A. 415 of 1994. The information must include the parties to the transfer, the date of the transfer, the actual consideration for the transfer, and the property's identification number or legal description. Failure to file the affidavit within 45 days may result in late filing fees.
Principal Residence Exemption
Another function of the Assessing Office is to record, maintain and edit the status of each parcel of property in the City to determine whether it qualifies for a "principal residence exemption" for a portion of school tax. Homeowners may want to claim an exemption for property they own and occupy as their principal residence by completing the Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit and filing it with the Assessor's office before Nov. 1st.
- If you are moving from one homestead to another, you may also need to file a Request to Rescind Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit for your former residence. You may claim only one residence as your homestead. These forms are usually provided at a real estate closing. However, copies of these forms may be obtained here.
Land Divisions and Combinations
Review of requests to divide or combine parcels of property are coordinated between Assessing and the Public Services Department. Minimum parcel size requirements exist if construction on the site is anticipated. The Public Services Director and the City Assessor are available to assist and guide the property owner through this process.
Change of Assessment Notices
In late February each year, a "Notice of Assessment and Taxable Valuation" is mailed to all property owners. The notice includes the property classification, along with a comparison of the current year and prior year taxable, assessed, and state equalized values. The notice also lists the percentage of the property which is claimed as a Principal Residence, and whether or not a transfer of ownership occurred in the previous year. Property owners should review all the information carefully, as this information becomes the basis on which taxes are levied.
Board of Review
Assessments may be appealed to the Board of Review in March. Dates and times of board meetings are included on the assessment notice, and also published as required by law. Petitions will be available the day of your scheduled appointment.
If you are interested in appealing an assessment and/or taxable value, contact the Assessing Office to schedule an appointment. You must be prepared to provide evidence to the Board of Review to support your contention that the assessed value exceeds 50% of the True Cash Value of the property.
The March Board of Review will listen to all reasons for objecting to the assessment and determine the final value. Petitioners will be notified by letter of the Board's decision by to June 1st. Property owners may wish to appeal further to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The address will be provided in the Board of Review's response. Please remember, the March Board of Review may only review the current year's assessment, and they do not establish the tax rate. The March Board of Review may raise, lower, or affirm an assessment.