Taxpayers usually decide if they are going to appeal their property assessment once they receive the Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation and Property Classification (the Assessment Notice). This typically arrives in late February or early March. It shows the new values that have been determined by the Assessor. At this point the Assessor’s job is done and the authority rests with the Board of Review to change values if just cause is shown by the taxpayer/owner.
This notice contains critical information of which each and every property owner should be aware.
1) On line #1 is shown the taxable value for the prior year, the taxable value for the current year, and the change. The amount of change is not the change in tax dollars that will be due but rather the change of value due to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI or inflation rate). This change does, however, have an effect on the tax bill. The estimated change in the actual tax bill is shown directly above line #1. The change indicated on line #1 can be affected by factors other than a change in the CPI such as new construction, a sale in the previous year or demolition of a building. By law the taxable value will increase by the CPI or 5% which ever is less. However, the taxable value can never be higher than the State Equalized Value (SEV).
The CPI is calculated by the State of Michigan and is communicated to local government units throughout the State in October of each year.
2) Lines #2 and #4 show the Assessed Value and SEV. These amounts will be the same except under very unusual circumstances. These numbers represent 50% of the estimated market value as determined by the Assessor. These numbers do not affect the property tax bill.
3) Line #5 tells if there was a transfer of ownership in the pervious year. This is important because a transfer will cause the taxable value to uncap; that is, to increase up to an amount equal to the SEV. In some cases, the amount of the increase can be quite substantial.
4) Just under Line #5 one will see information regarding the Board of Review. Individuals may appear in person to appeal their assessment or may appeal in writing if they prefer.
5) Further down the page, one line show whether the taxpayer is receiving the Homeowners Principle Residence exemption and a second line shows whether the taxpayer is receiving a Qualified Agricultural Property exemption.
6) The last paragraph has information regarding the appeal procedure for the different classes of property.