Equalization FAQ

Q.What is Taxable Value?
The Taxable Value is the lower of the State Equalized Value or the capped value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the millage rate to produces the amount of tax dollars. The taxable value was created upon the passage of Proposal A, by the electorate in 1994.

Q.What is State Equalized Value (SEV)?
The State Equalized Value is the result of the county equalized value being subject to review by the Michigan State Tax Commission. The Tax Commission may add to, subtract from, or approve the county equalized value as submitted. Upon their action, it becomes the State Equalized Value.

Q. What is the Assessed Value?
The assessed value is the estimate of one-half of fair market value, which is calculated by the local unit of government’s assessing department. The Michigan State Constitution requires the assessed value be set at this level.

Q. What is the County Equalized Value?
The assessed value as placed by the local assessing department, is reviewed by the county equalization department. The equalization department may add to, subtract from, or approve it as submitted. Upon their action, it becomes the county equalized value.

Q. Am I allowed to view my appraisal records?
YES! Most department records are considered public record, and are open for inspection during normal business hours.

Q. How do I get an appointment with the Board of Review?
You may telephone the Township Assessing Department or the City to make an appointment. In order to make a personal appearance before the board, you must first make an appointment. If you wish to lodge an appeal by mail, your letter of appeal must be postmarked no later than the Tuesday following the second Monday in March.

Q. What if I am not satisfied with the Board of Review decision on my appeal?
You have the right to file an appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. This appeal must be filed with the Tribunal on or before June 30th of the current year, using the following address:

Michigan Tax Tribunal
1033 S. Washington
P.O. Box 30232
Lansing, Mi., 48909
Telephone Number: 1-517-334-6521

Q. What is the Capped Value?
The taxable value can increase from year to year by 5.0% or the amount of the consumer price index, whichever is less. Additions or losses to the property are also taken into consideration. The formula is the previous taxable value, minus losses, x 1.05 % or the consumer price index, whichever is less, plus any additions = Capped Value

Q. What if I am unhappy with the assessed value or taxable value on my property, what can I do about it?
The first thing you should do, is talk to your local Assessor about the valuation on your parcel. Check the appraisal records to make sure all components of the property are correct. If you wish to proceed at this point, you may lodge an appeal with your local March Board of Review. The Board of Review is set up under the Michigan General Property Tax Law. The Board consists of three, six or nine members, appointed by the Township Supervisor, and approved at public meeting by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Review will hear your appeal, and will make a decision using their best judgement.

Q. What if I’m out of town during the March Board of Review, how can I lodge an appeal?
You may send a person to represent you, or as provided by resolution of the Board of Trustees, you may file an appeal to the Board of Review by letter. Please include the reason for appeal, your parcel number and telephone number. The Board of Review will conduct an appeal review for you, and notify you of their decision by first class mail.

Q. When are the assessed values for each parcel determined?
Known as tax day throughout the state, December 31 is the date used, taking into consideration the status of the property and the economic conditions of the area.

Q. What authority does the Township have in order to place a value on my property for property tax purposes?
This is a mandate of Public Act 206 of 1893 as amended, also known as the Michigan General Property Tax Law.

Homestead & Qualified Agricultural Property
Property owners may declare their principal residence as a homestead and exempt the property from 18 mills of school operating tax. In order to qualify as a homestead property, the property must be occupied as a homestead by May 1 of the first year claimed. Partial homestead exemptions are also available for multi-family dwellings. The 18 mill school operating tax exemption also extends to agricultural classed property. Non-agricultural classed property devoted primarily to agricultural uses may also be eligible for the exemption. Please contact the assessors office for additional information regarding homestead and qualified agricultural exemptions.

Property Transfer
In the year following a sale or transfer of ownership of real estate, the transferred property’s state equalized value becomes relevant. When a transfer of ownership occurs, statutes require the removing of the value cap and the adjustment of the taxable value to that of the following year’s state equalized value. This means that the taxable value will equal the state equalized value in the year following the transfer of ownership. It is important to note that the assessor does not utilize 50% of the property’s selling price as the new SEV. This is the most common misconception regarding the uncapping of taxable values. The following year’s SEV is determined by the same method as if the property had not transferred.

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
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