Assessor's Office

The Assessor’s Office is responsible for the valuation of Real and Personal Property in accordance with the General Property Tax Act.  The Assessor’s office monitors all sales and analyzes the local real estate market relative to the economic conditions.  The Assessor’s Office is also responsible for maintaining a record card indicating ownership and sales information, as well as, property characteristics of every parcel in the City.  The Assessor uses the characteristics of your property in connection with the analysis of the real estate market to estimate a market value, then market value is multiplied by 50% which is then your assessed value. 

It is a common misconception that the Assessor’s office alone determines your tax bill.  This is not so. There are several different elements that enter into that formula and the Assessor’s Office is only responsible for one of those elements.  Proposal A, as passed by voters March 15, 1994, places additional limits on taxable values, which are used to compute property taxes.  Starting in 1995, property taxes are calculated using “taxable” value.  Taxable value is calculated by using the prior years taxable value minus losses, times the inflation rate multiplier (IRM), plus additions (i.e. new construction and/or omitted property improvements) there by being the current years taxable value.  An additional way your taxable value may increase over and above the IRM is if you purchased your property in the prior year and the taxable value is less then the current years assessment. Prior to Proposal A, taxes were calculated using “State Equalized Value” or SEV which keeps pace with Market Value regardless of ownership change. 

Assessment Change Notices are mailed in February of every year and property owners are given the opportunity to appeal their assessment in March at the Board of Review. 
The Michigan State Tax Commission requires periodic inspections of all real property within the City.  Inspections are necessary to maintain complete and accurate assessment records and the assessor may review properties at any time.  A courtesy letter is normally sent to homeowners of the properties that have been selected prior to the inspections occurring.  Property owners are not required to be in attendance at the time of the inspection and cooperation is greatly appreciated.