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On March 15, 1994, Michigan voters approved the constitutional amendments known as Proposal “A”.
Prior to Proposal “A” property tax calculations were based on State Equalized Value (SEV). Proposal “A” established “Taxable Value” as the basis for the calculation of property taxes. Increases in Taxable Value (TV) are limited to the percent of change in the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less, as long as there were no losses or additions to the property. The limit on TV does not apply to a property in the year following a transfer of ownership (sale).
Suppose your neighbor purchased their home March 20, 2016 and their 2016 State Equalized Value (SEV) was 75,000 and his Taxable Value was 55,000. Their July 2016 tax bill will be calculated based on the prior owners taxable value of 55,000 for 2016 only. The year following the transfer, the TV becomes uncapped. Based on sales of homes in your neighborhood, your neighbor’s new SEV for 2017 is 80,000. Because of Proposal “A” your neighbor’s home became uncapped for tax year 2017, which means their TV will be the same as their SEV for 2017. Their July 2017 tax bill will be calculated using 80,000 TV instead of the prior year’s 55,000.
In other words since Proposal “A” passed, you can no longer compare property taxes with your neighbors. You can compare SEV, but remember to compare apples to apples. Items to compare would be square footage of the home, style, how many baths, is their basement finished, fireplace, garage, decks etc.
The State of Michigan does not offer a senior citizen or disability discount on Property Taxes. If your income falls at or below Federal Poverty Guidelines, you may apply for a Poverty Exemption. The Poverty Exemption is an application process which requires proof of income and expenses; completed applications will be presented at the July and December Boards of Review. The applicant does not need to be present at the Board of Review. If you believe you may qualify for a Poverty Exemption, please call the Assessor’s office at 810-229-0558 to request additional information.
We encourage our petitioners to also look for their own comparable sales to supplement their case. Our sales study for the current tax year can be found on the Assessor page and is a great source for starting the comparison process. You can also check with your realtor and see if they can find comparable sales for you. These sales would have to take place on or before December 31 of the previous year. Our public records database can be utilized to aid you in finding the differences between your property and the comparable sales.
When comparing sales, you will need to look for similarities and differences between your property and the sales to find the closest matches to your property; make note of these differences for presentation at your appointment: -Proximity of comparable home to yours -Age of home -Type of home (compare 1 story to 1 story, 2 story to 2 story, etc) -Finished square footage of home (make adjustments to your comparables as needed to determine value) -Foundation type (crawl, slab, basement, etc) -Basement finish (unfinished or finished) -Number of bathrooms and bathroom extras -Kitchen built-ins -Fireplaces -Garage and outbuildings (size and finish quality) -Size of decks, patios, and porches -Additional amenities and land improvements -Land value differences (waterfront, water view, lot size, location, and topography)
Make sure you bring a copy of your evidence for the Board to keep. If you do not bring a copy for the board, we will need to charge a copy fee.
For the current sales study, please visit the Assessor page.