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Commonly asked questions

These are some common questions that taxpayers have asked:

My property value is too high. Who do I have to speak with about changing it?
Why are my taxes going up if my property value went down?
What is Assessed Value?

What is Taxable Value?
You (the Assessor) are only increasing my property value/taxes because the Township asked you to increase values to increase revenue for the Township.
Why can’t you lower the SEV to exactly 50% of what I paid for it?
Why do Assessed Values change from year to year?
I just bought my house last year and now the taxes are much higher than last year. I was told it’s because of an uncapping of Taxable Value. What is uncapping?
I have the exact same house (age, size, amenities, etc) as my neighbor, so why am I paying more in taxes?
I bought my house earlier this year and applied for the Principal Residence Exemption so why does my tax bill say “Not Homeowners Principal Residence”.
I recently moved from my primary residence and am now renting the property. Why does my tax bill say “100% Homeowners Principal Residence”?
My taxes keep going up/are too high. Can I appeal to the Board of Review to lower my taxes?

What is an ECF Neighborhood?
What should I do if I disagree with my assessment?


My property value is too high. Who do I have to speak with about changing it?
Every February property owners receive a Notice of Assessment and Taxable Valuation. This is very important and contains the values pertaining to your property for the coming tax year. If you disagree with these figures, you should speak with your assessor. If you are not satisfied with that, you also have an opportunity to appeal before the March Board of Review. This is the ONLY time of year taxpayers can appeal their assessed values.


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 Why are my taxes going up if my property value went down?
The tax increase is probably due to the CPI (inflation rate multiplier) affecting your Taxable Value, the value your property taxes are based upon. The current years Taxable Value is determined by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) rate for that year. For 2021, the CPI is 1.014 or 1.4%. That means that all Taxable Value in the State of Michigan will increase by 1.4%.

Look at your assessment notice-there should be three values: Assessed Value (AV), State Equalized Value (SEV) and Taxable Value (TV). These three numbers work independently of one another and just because one goes up or down, does not mean they all will. Of these values, Taxable Value is the only number that the Assessor has NO control over. The Assessor’s job is to fairly and equitably assess property; we have no control over your taxes.

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What is Assessed Value?
Assessed Value is the value that the assessor assigns as half of your property’s true market value. This value is determined through sales analysis of similar types of properties that have sold over a two year time frame. For 2021 assessments, the sales study period was April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2020. For 2022, assessments will be based on sales that occurred from April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2021.

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 What is Taxable Value?
This is the value of your property that you pay taxes on. By State statute, the Taxable Value is calculated based on the prior year’s Taxable Value times the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the current year. Taxable Value and SEV are separate values and are independent of each other. This is the reason why your taxes do not always go down just because your SEV is lowered.

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You (the Assessor) are only increasing my property value/taxes because the Township asked you to increase values to increase revenue for the Township.
This is a misconception not to mention a violation of the law. Property values are to be set to 50% of the fair market value based on our sales studies as directed by the State Tax Commission. We are never asked to increase values to increase revenue.


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Why can’t you lower the SEV to exactly 50% of what I paid for it?
The law defines the True Cash Value as the usual selling price of a property. The Legislature and the Courts have very clearly stated that the actual selling price is not a controlling factor in the True Cash Value or State Equalized Value as calculated by the assessor. For this reason, when analyzing sales for determining assessment changes, the assessor will review all sales, but exclude non-representative sales, such as foreclosure sales, from the assessment study. 2021 Assessments are derived from a mass appraisal sales study using the State Tax Commission mandated time frame of April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2020. Your current assessment should reflect the approximate value of property during that time frame.

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Why do Assessed Values change from year to year?
When market value changes, naturally so does assessed value. For instance, if you were to add a garage to your home, the assessed value would increase. However, if your property is in poor repair, the assessed value would decrease. The assessor has not created the value. People make value by their transactions in the market place. The assessor simply has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and appraise your property accordingly. 

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I just bought my house last year and now the taxes are much higher than last year. I was told it’s because of an uncapping of Taxable Value. What is uncapping?
According to Proposal A, as long as you own your property your Taxable Value is “capped”, which means that each year, your Taxable Value cannot increase more than 5% or the rate of inflation (whichever is lower), regardless of the housing market. When you purchase a property, you are paying property taxes on values that were determined for the current tax year during your first year of ownership. When a property (or interest in a property) is transferred, the following year’s Taxable Value “uncaps” or “resets” and becomes the same as the SEV for that year. In other words, if you purchased a property in 2020, the Taxable Value for 2021 will be the same as the 2021 SEV. The Taxable Value will then be “capped” again for as long as you own it or until there is another transfer of ownership. 


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I have the exact same house (age, size, amenities, etc) as my neighbor, so why am I paying more in taxes?
This could be due to your property being sold once or more over the same time period that your neighbor has lived in his home. This is more than likely due to the uncapping of the taxable value after a transfer of ownership occurred. While your property has had at least one transfer of ownership which caused the Taxable Value to uncap to that year’s SEV, your neighbor has not transferred his property and therefore has had the benefit of keeping his Taxable Value capped, thus paying lower taxes.


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 I bought my house earlier this year and applied for the Principal Residence Exemption so why does my tax bill say “Not Homeowners Principal Residence”?
June 1st (or November 1st, depending on which school district your property is located in) is the deadline to qualify for the Principal Residence Exemption. If you purchased/occupied your home after this date and the property was at 0% when you purchased/occupied it, your 2021 tax bills will reflect the percentage that was in place on June 1st. When you receive your 2022 assessment notice and tax bills, the 100% PRE should be in place. If it is not, please contact our office at that time.


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I recently moved from my primary residence and am now renting the property. Why does my tax bill say “100% Homeowners Principal Residence”?
If you qualified for the PRE on January 1st and later in the year filed a Request to Rescind form, the property will remain at the 100% PRE for the remainder of the current tax year. The rescission of your PRE will not take effect until December 31st; therefore, when you receive your 2022 assessment notice and tax bills, the Homeowners Principal Residence Exemption should reflect 0%. If it does not, please contact our office.


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My taxes keep going up/are too high. Can I appeal to the Board of Review to lower my taxes?
The Taxable Value is the value that your property taxes are based upon and the Board of Review cannot change that value alone unless there is an error in the calculation of the Taxable Value. The Board of Review only has the ability to change the Assessed (State Equalized) Value if given enough evidence to support such a change. Since Taxable Value cannot be higher than your Assessed Value, you would need to appeal to the Board of Review to lower your assessment to a value that is equal to or lower than your current Taxable Value. Keep in mind that the Board of Review requires evidence of any requested value changes.

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What is an ECF Neighborhood?
Each property is placed in a “neighborhood”. Each neighborhood contains as many similar type properties as possible. Breaking properties down into neighborhoods means that we can study the sales that occur in each neighborhood. Studies are then used to determine if property values are increasing or decreasing in that neighborhood.

A factor, called an economic condition factor, is determined using the following calculation:
Sale price - land & land improvements = building value ÷ RCND (reproduction cost new minus depreciation of improvements) = ECF

The calculated ECF is then applied to the parcels in each neighborhood. An ECF is applied only to the improvements on the property.

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What do I do if I disagree with my assessment?
If a property owner believes that the value assessed to his or her property is unfair or inaccurate, he or she should take the following steps:
1. Visit our online assessment page and review your property record for accuracy. If the information is inaccurate, notify the Assessor so that they can correct the information
2. Check sale prices of similar homes in the area
3. Provide evidence to the assessor that the property is overvalued
4.  If all else fails, make an appeal to the March Board of Review

 

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