Assessing/Tax Info.

To Obtain Tax And Assessing Information
The City of Charlotte Tax and Assessing database is hosted on another website. To access this information, please click this link. The site will open in a new window or tab.
Board of Review Schedule and Information
Information about the Board of Review, including a schedule of its meetings, can be found by clicking this link.

How To Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment

The property tax assessment appeal process is a mystery to many. If you follow these simple steps, it will eliminate some of the confusion in deciding whether or not to appeal and help you prepare valid information for a successful appeal.

Step 1. Prior to making an appeal to the Board of Review, it is important to understand what the appeal process is and what it means to you. Your first step should be educating yourself by reading this.

Step 2. If you have decided to continue with your appeal after reviewing the information in Step 1, you will need to complete the petition and bring it to your hearing.

Step 3. Now that your petition has been completed, you need to schedule a time for your appeal. You can schedule your appeal by sending an email to SOsborn@charlottemi.org or by calling 517-543-8844.

Step 4. Prepare for your appeal. Appeals are limited to 5 minutes each so it is important to use your time talking about issues that the Board of Review can address. Refer to the information provided in Step 1 for tips on how best to prepare for your appearance before the Board of Review.

 

Questions regarding your taxes

Taxes

When are my taxes due?

Summer property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 5 p.m. on August 31st.  Winter property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 5 p.m. on February 14th. There is a 24-hour drop box located behind city hall at the corner of Washington and Harris.

How long does it take between a tree investigation and the recommended work?

Under normal circumstances, work will be completed in the same year a request is taken.  Maintenance trimming is generally done in the winter months when the tree is dormant.  Emergency work is always done as soon as possible.

 

Does the City accept credit cards for payment?

At this time, Charlotte does not accept credit card payments. VISA/Mastercard charges its customers an interchange fee of approximately 3%. On a $1,000 tax bill, the city would have to pay approximately $30 to the credit card company and that money would have to come out of general fund operations. There are municipalities that use credit card companies, but they charge the customer a “user fee” equal to the 3% interchange fee. You would have to pay the fee and the full tax bill. We have investigated this service, but have discovered through talking to other municipalities that it is seldom used. The Treasurer’s office accepts cash and check payments only.

I need a copy of my paid receipt. Where can I get one?

The Treasurer’s office can provide you with a copy of your paid tax bill. You can also access this information by clicking “On-line Assessing/Tax Services” on this website. You can access your property by owner’s name, address or parcel number. The site has tax information back to 2001 and will show dollar amounts and dates paid.

Who receives the funds from my tax bill?

Besides the City, your tax bill is remitted to Charlotte Public Schools, Eaton Intermediate School District, Charlotte Public Library and Eaton County. Details of some of the most often questioned line items on your tax bill are as follows:

SET (State Education Tax) -The State Education Tax Act was one of several components of Proposal A of 1994 that changed the way in which elementary-secondary education is funded in Michigan. The State levies the state education tax statewide at a six-mill rate on all real and tangible personal property not otherwise exempt from the property tax. This millage is distributed to the county treasurer who then forwards it to the State of Michigan.

CHAR SCH DEBT (School Debt) – Special elections are held to enable schools to levy millage for such things as school construction or renovation. This line item could be a combination of several elections the school district has had over the years. Please contact the school district for more detailed information on their debt millage. This millage is distributed directly to the school district.

CHAR SCH OPER (School Operating) – This millage is another component of Proposal A of 1994. Under the proposal, a school district can levy 18 mills for school operating purposes. An exempt principal residence is not subject to the levy of school operating millage. For the majority of Charlotte taxpayers, this line item will be zero as your property is your principal residence and it is exempted from this tax. Businesses, rental properties and people owning multiple properties will pay the school operating millage. This millage is distributed directly to the school district.

What do the terms “assessed value,” “state equalized value” and “taxable value” on my Notice of Assessment mean?

According to Michigan property tax law, these terms have the following meanings:

Assessed value—The assessed value is determined by a property’s market value. Set by the assessor, the assessed value when multiplied by two will give an approximate market value of the property. The assessor is constitutionally required to set the assessed value at 50% of the usual selling price or true cash value of the property.

State Equalized Value (SEV)—SEV is the assessed value that has been adjusted following county and state equalization. The County Board of Commissioners and the Michigan State Tax Commission must review local assessments and adjust (equalize) them if they are above or below the constitutional 50% level of assessment.

Taxable value—A property’s taxable value is the value used for determining the property owner’s tax liability. Multiplying the taxable value by the local millage rate will determine your tax liability. Taxable value increases from year to year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. Transfers of ownership and improvements to the property will increase the taxable value more than the rate of inflation but never more than the assessed value.

How does the assessor determine the assessed value of my property?

To ensure properties are assessed uniformly and at 50% of market value, the assessor uses the results of the equalization study that is provided by the Eaton County Equalization Department.  This study is an analysis of the sales price of the property compared to its SEV for each class of property; residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural. If there are not a sufficient number of sales for a particular class then the SEV will be compared to the appraised value that is done by the county appraisal staff. Typically, the sales study runs from October 1st through September 30th for residential. This study may also be a 2 years study at the discretion of the County and State. The same study period applies to the appraisal study although this most likely will be a 2 years study given the lack of sales in the commercial and industrial classes. The sales/appraisals are then organized by economic neighborhoods by the assessor. An economic neighborhood can be a single subdivision or a grouping of subdivisions with similar characteristics, or group of similar type properties. If the sales/appraisals in a certain economic neighborhood indicate an increase or decrease then all of the properties in that economic neighborhood will be changed by what the sales/appraisals have indicated. This ensures all properties are assessed at 50% of market value as of December 31.

 

When are my taxes due?

Summer property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 4 p.m. on August 31st. Winter property taxes are due in the Treasurer’s Office by 4 p.m. on February 14th. There is a 24-hour drop box located behind City Hall at the corner of Washington and Harris.

 

Does the City accept credit cards for payment?

The Treasurer’s office accepts cash and check payments only. Charlotte does not accept credit card payments at this time.

 

I need a copy of a paid receipt. Where can I get one?

The Treasurer’s office can provide you with a copy of your paid tax bill. You can also access this information on the city’s website at www.charlottemi.org; select assessing and tax services. You can access your property by owner’s name, address or parcel number. The site has tax information back to 2001.  Clicking on the “+” sign next to the year/season will show the detailed information for that tax season.  In this view, you will also have the option of printing the tax bill/receipt by clicking on the “Print Tax Bill/Receipt” blue icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.

 

Who receives the funds from my tax bill?

Besides the City, your tax bill is remitted to Charlotte Public Schools, Eaton Intermediate School District, Charlotte Public Library and Eaton County.

 

How does the assessor determine my Assessed Value?

To ensure properties are assessed uniformly and at 50% of market value, the assessor uses a two year sales study that is provided by the Eaton County Equalization Department. A sales study is an analysis of the sales price of the property compared to its SEV. Typically, the sales study runs from April 1st to March 31st. The sales are then organized by economic neighborhoods by the assessor. An economic neighborhood can be a single subdivision or a grouping of subdivisions with similar characteristics. If the sales in a certain economic neighborhood indicate an increase or decrease then all of the properties in that economic neighborhood will be changed by what the sales have indicated. This ensures all properties are assessed at 50% of market value as of December 31st.

 

What determines the Taxable Value?

On March 15, 1994 Michigan voters approved the constitutional amendment known as Proposal A. The Taxable Value was created as a part of this legislation. Taxable Value, or the figure which millage would be multiplied against, can only increase each year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. The Taxable Value on the property is said to be “Capped” if the property owner has not had any additions or losses on the property or did not purchase it in the preceding year. The legislators who wrote and put Proposal A on the ballot intended to put a cap on the value of the property so that taxpayers wouldn’t be as affected by a robust housing market and a significant increase in valuation. The intention was to tie the increase in valuation to the inflation rate so that it would be more affordable for residents and would benefit those residents who intended to remain at their properties for longer periods of time.

 

Property values in my neighborhood have been decreasing. Will my property valuation be decreasing as well?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a yes or no answer to that question. If you’ve owned your property for a significant amount of time, more than likely your State Equalized Value (SEV) far exceeds your Taxable Value. If this is the case, a decrease in valuation, caused by a cooling real estate market, will be reflected in the SEV. The Taxable Value is required by the Michigan Constitution to increase each year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. In the case of a longtime property owner, the SEV could decrease, while the Taxable Value will increase.

 

Does that mean I’ll pay more property taxes instead of less?

In the previous scenario, yes you would. The Taxable Value will rise by the inflationary increase. This adjusted Taxable Value figure multiplied by the local unit’s millage rate will determine your new property tax liability.  The inflationary index for the past three years is as follows:

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
3.2% 1.5% 2.3% 2.3% 3.3% 3.7% 2.3% 4.4% -0.3% 1.7%