Assessment Process

Local assessor is responsible for annually reviewing every assessment in their taxing jurisdiction. Tax Day is December 31 of each year and the property is assessed at 50% of its 'True Cash Value' as of that date. The township assessor, through the local board of review, is the only agency that is allowed to change an individual assessment.

There are various reasons that your assessed and taxable values can increase. The assessed value represents 50% of the value of the property and has no limit in which it can increase. Some of the reasons that an assessed value can increase is because of improvements made to the property and general market increases. Taxable values are capped at rate of inflation increases or 5%, whichever is less, unless there are new improvements made to the property.

Assessor and staff face the responsibility and challenge of accurately and efficiently estimating the market value of taxable properties.  How well the challenge is met directly affects the proportion of local governmental costs borne by each and every property owner, as well as the effectiveness of local government in general. 

Michigan Constitution and property tax law requires that all property be uniformly assessed at no more than 50% of true cash value, which is the cash price a property could bring in a competitive and open market. 

General Property Tax Act [MCL211.1] requires real and personal property to be assessed annually in each township and city by a certified assessing officer.  Assessment roll must include the name and address of every person subject to taxation in the municipality.  The roll must also contain a full property description, including the number of acres.

Assessing department is required to maintain assessing records, which includes annual assessments, taxable values, and maintenance of name, address, legal descriptions and homestead information of each property in the township. Inspections of properties will be made to continually develop accurate assessing records.

Staff will be in the field periodically to measure and update photos. The use and distribution of this information provides an indirect benefit to any individual who wishes to buy, sell or finance property in the Township.

We hope this endeavor will further enhance the availability of information to the township residents. 

We thank you for your cooperation and support!

General Property Tax Act
211.27 “True Cash Value” Definition

Our work is largely regulated by State law which dictates when and how we reassess properties.  We bring a significant amount of professional expertise to the position.

 A revaluation is the process of performing all of the necessary Market Analysis and Valuation steps to determine accurate and equitable values for all properties within a municipality. The equalization of the values within a jurisdiction creates a fair distribution of the tax burden. The purpose of a Revaluation is not to raise taxes. The purpose is to create an equitable distribution of the tax load.

What is market value?
Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. For a sale to be a market value (arms- length) sale, seller and buyer must be unrelated, buyer must be willing (but not under pressure) to buy, the property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and financing must be typical for that type of property.

How will I know if my assessment is equitable?
1) Can I sell my property for that amount?
The first thing that you should do is ask yourself if you could sell the property for approximately that amount. (Please note that assessments in Michigan reflect 50% of market value.) It is our goal, as your assessors, to comply with guidelines and have fair and equitable values a reasonable reflective market value.

2) Does the Assessing department have the correct information on my property?
You can review the information that the Assessing Department has collected on your property to make sure the data is accurate. Sales information, property record cards and maps are available for your review during normal office hours. 

3) How much have similar properties in my neighborhood been assessed for?
If you do not have any recent sales activity in your local area, you can look up the assessed value of similar parcels that are located near your property. Please be aware that what may appear to be a similar parcel may in fact be very different from your property.

Additionally, we are happy to assist you with reviewing your property card or evaluation sales information.  We strive to have accurate information on all properties to accurately reflect the on-going area market.

Thank you –
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Tim & Polly Cairns