Township Hall: Thursday
In early February, you received a 2015 Notice of Assessment for your property. Should you have any questions, please call me or follow the appeal procedure outlined in that notice.
Property Site Visits
The Assessor’s Office makes several property visits throughout the year. Most notably, the Assessor and/or staff visits all of the sites that have been issued a building permit throughout the year by the Township’s Building Inspectors at Professional Code Inspections (http://pcimi.com/ ). Most of these appraisal reviews of new construction are completed in the winter toward the end of the year, as “Tax Day” each year is December 31st. From an assessment perspective, the valuation for the upcoming year’s assessment roll is based on “whatever the property looks like on ‘Tax Day,’ December 31st.” In other words, a new house that is only 50% completed as of year end will have an assessment in the upcoming year that reflects partial construction. The Assessor’s Office will then return to that property the following year to verify that the work was completed, and change the partial construction assessment to a completed house assessment for the subsequent year.
Based on this timeline and the necessity that the Assessor’s Office keeps a current project status of properties as of December 31st, several site visits must take place in the last few weeks of the year. In order to maintain an efficient schedule, the Assessor’s Office usually goes on neighborhood-wide permit reviews stopping at several sites throughout the day. If you have a project going at your home and would prefer a scheduled appointment, please do not hesitate to contact our office and we will arrange a site review. In addition, if your project is completed before the end of the year, please feel free to get a hold of us as we would be more than happy to complete our appraisal and assessment review of your home earlier in the year. The Assessor, Tyler Tacoma, is typically in the township office or completing fieldwork in the area every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
When completing our fieldwork, we have Township business cards or other official identification.
Transfers of Ownership – Property Transfer Affidavit Form (“PTA”):
Any time a transfer of ownership takes place on a property, the buyer or grantee (person receiving the property) is required by Michigan State Law to file a Property Transfer Affidavit with the local Assessor’s Office within 45 days of the transfer. The form can be found on the state’s website viawww.michigan.gov and a keyword search for “property transfer affidavit,” or by going to the following link on the state’s website: https://michigan.michigan.gov/documents/l4260f_2688_7.pdf
The property transfer affidavit is a one page form that must be filed with the local Assessor’s Office for typical sales between unrelated buyers and sellers. In addition, it is also a required filing for any transfer of ownership. Some examples are a transfer to a trust, transfer to a spouse, sale of property using a land contract, quit claim deed, giving property to children or other estate planning transfers, foreclosures, etc.
The three main reasons this form is important to the local Assessor are:
- The Assessor needs to know who the current owner of the property is so that the taxes are billed to the appropriate person.
- The sale price must be given on this form, whether it was or wasn’t shown on the deed and whether or not the purchase price reflects the actual market value. The sale price is vitally important as it helps the local Assessor’s Office know what properties are currently selling for in the real estate market. Along with the sale price, items 10-15 on the form help the Assessor determine if the sale was a typical market transaction or if there were other factors that affected the sale price such as: purchasing from a relative at a discount, short sale at a reduced price before a foreclosure, a land contract with an excessive interest rate, or a purchase that included other items such as a vehicle or other personal property (appliances, furniture, etc.).
- The transfer of ownership may or may not require an “uncapping” of the taxable value. Normally, the year after a property sells, the taxable value is “uncapped” and reset to whatever the property’s assessed value is. However, in some cases, the transfer of ownership may be exempt from “uncapping” of the taxable value. The information provided on the property transfer affidavit allows the Assessor to determine whether or not to uncap the taxable value.
Per state law, if this form is not timely filed with the local Assessor’s Office within 45 days of the transfer of ownership, a penalty of $5/day (maximum $200) will be applied to the winter tax bill on the property. Filing of the form by the buyer is a win/win situation that ensures the correct person receives the tax bills and that the Assessor’s Office gains valuable information about sales activity in the local market.
After operating under Proposal ‘A’ there is still a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion regarding proposal ‘A’ and the effects it has had on property taxes.
Proposal ‘A’ of 1994 was an amendment to the constitution of the State of Michigan. Proposal ‘A’ established a CAP for the taxable value of a property.
Two factors can cause an increase of a property’s taxable value. First, is the current year’s Consumer Price Index or CPI. The CPI for 2011 was 1.7% which means the 2010 taxable value for your property can only be increased 1.7%. The second factor that could cause an increase would be new construction. Otherwise, the taxable value remains capped.
The taxable value of a property can only be uncapped if the property is sold in the previous year. Then a new taxable value is set for the purchaser.
Assessed Values are still maintained on the tax rolls at 50% of the market value of the property. This assessed value is what is used to establish the new taxable value upon the sale of the property.
The success of proposal ‘A’ can be seen in the fact that the vast majority of properties in the State have taxable values significantly lower than their assessed values.
Homestead Now Known as Principal Residence Exemption
Every property owner who occupies their dwelling in the State is entitled to a “Principal Residence Exemption”, which is a deduction of 18 mills on their principal residence and contiguous property in the same ownership. The 18 mill reduction is also available on property that is classified as agricultural
If you have any questions regarding Proposal ‘A’, or the “Principal Residence Exemption” call the Township.