Assessing Department Responsibilities
Upon receipt of the tax roll, the treasurer shall proceed to collect taxes, account for, and deliver to the county treasurer and other tax assessing entities. There are three types of taxes the treasurer is charged with collecting: real property taxes, personal property taxes, and industrial facility taxes. The tax amount is based on the taxable value of the property and the millage assessed by the entity.
Townships are assessing units
There are many local governmental units with the authority to levy taxes: townships, villages, cities, school districts, intermediate school districts, community colleges, district libraries, and special taxing authorities, such as downtown development authorities.
However, there are only two governmental units with the authority to assess property: townships and cities. Villages are required to have assessment rolls, but villages do not assess property because all property in a village is within a township, so the village assessments must be identical to those set by the township assessor.
Highlights of the Assessing Calendar
Annually, the assessor shall prepare an assessment roll that describes all taxable real and personal property in the township as of December 31 and its assessed and taxable values.
The assessor presents the roll to the board of review by the Tuesday following the first Monday in March. The assessor must also send notices of assessment increases to taxpayers at least 10 days before the Tuesday following the first Monday in March. These are increases that will show up in the summer and winter tax bills in that year.
The board of review meets in March and examines and adjusts the property values on the assessment roll as necessary and appropriate. Taxpayers who want to appeal their assessment must first go to the board of review in March. If they are denied an adjustment, they may then appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
The previous descriptions were partially excerpted from Authorities & Responsibilities of Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions published by the Michigan Townships Association, copyright 1995, and their website.
Assessing Department Forms and Information
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Applications and Worksheets
Assessing Department Infomation Links
Treasurer’s Department Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between Assessed Value and Taxable Value?
ANS: The Assessed Value of a property is 50% of the estimated “true cash value” that a property potentially will sell for in the open market without any special conditions. The Taxable Value is used for the calculation of property taxes. The millages voted in by local taxpayers are spread over the Taxable Value to determine a tax obligation by the taxpayer. Taxes are used to pay for services and schools within the local and county area. For the specific calculations, you should discuss this with your local Assessor or Treasurer.
2. Who and what determines the value of my home?
ANS: Who? A certified Assessor for Holton Township is to assess all property in the township at its estimated fair market value. What? The market value of your property is the probable price that it would sell for in an arm’s length transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Market value, in Michigan, is defined as “true cash value”. Market value changes from one year to the next.
3. How does the Assessor determine the market value of my home?
ANS: As of December 31st each year, Tax Day, the Assessor is required by Michigan State Law to assess at 50% of true cash value all assessable property within Holton Township. This includes homes, commercial properties, industrial properties, agricultural properties, vacant land, and personal property used to operate business. After gathering pertinent information, such as sales, construction costs, rental incomes, operating expenses, and interest rates, the Assessor determines a property value in three different ways.
1. Sales Comparison Approach. First, to estimate the value of a property as of a given date, the Assessor selects, objectively analyzes, and makes the necessary adjustment for differences on recently sold comparable homes or properties. It is important to realize that the sales price for an individual property does not necessarily dictate the market value of that property.
2. Cost Approach. Second, the Assessor determines at current materials and labor costs, how much money it would take to replace your home or building with one just like it. This approach provides an estimate of value based on a determination of land value added to the depreciated cost of buildings and other improvements. If your home or building is not new, the Assessor determines how much it has depreciated due to normal wear and tear or any negative factors. The value of your lot as vacant, is also estimated from sales, and added to the value of the home or building.
3. Income Approach. The third approach provides an estimate of value by analyzing the income producing capacity of investment property. Investment property is worth the present value of income that is to be received in the future. This approach is used mostly for appeals of commercial and industrial properties, or for houses used as a rental property.
4. My assessment went up this year, and I did nothing new to my house. Why?
ANS: Since assessments must be set by market value, changing real estate values in the community will be reflected in assessments. Market value is a product of the prices paid for property. As prices increase or decrease, so does market value. Property owners have a responsibility to report any changes to the Assessor on their home or property that would affect value. Our building department does notify us of any building permits issued. If you plan to make changes or demo a house, contact our office.
5. How can I get the square footage, story height, lot size, parcel number, assessed value, taxable value, or legal description of a property?
ANS: You may go to our website or call our assessor. Be sure to have an owner’s last name, or a street number/address, or a parcel number available to assist the staff in identifying the information you need.
6. How do I combine or divide my land?
ANS: Contact the Holton Township Zoning Administrator
7. Do you have Township maps?
ANS: Yes, They are available for viewing at the Township Hall during regular office hours.
8. Can I find out what my neighbor’s taxes are?
ANS: Yes, Contact the township office for more information.
9. My house is not worth the value you have on it. What are my rights of appeal?
ANS: First, if your opinion of the value of your property differs from the Assessor’s, you can contact the assessor and discuss the matter. Second, after receiving your February Assessment notice, go to the March Board of Review to exercise your right of appeal. Be sure to support your opinion of value with a list of recent sales in the local area, provide pictures showing the condition and depreciation of your home, or bring a recent appraisal of comparable homes with similar size, story height, lot size, square footage, amenities, and the same school district. If denied by the March Board of Review, petition to the Michigan Tax Tribunal in writing by June 30th. The mailing address is: Michigan Tax Tribunal, P.O. Box 30232, Lansing, MI 48909.
10. What is the homestead and non-homestead rate?
ANS: Contact the Treasurer or the Assessor for this information
11. What is a Property Transfer Affidavit?
ANS: Whenever real estate or some types of personal property are transferred from one owner to another, this form must be filed. It is used by the Assessor to ensure the property is assessed properly and receives the correct taxable value. It must be filed by the new owner with the Assessor for the city or township where the property is located within 45 days of the transfer. If it is not filed timely, a penalty of $5/day (maximum $200) applies. This form is issued under Authority of P.A. 415 of 1994, and filing is mandatory. (The Property Transfer Affidavit can be found on the Assessing Department’s Form Section.)
12. What is a Principal Residence Exemption (P.R.E.), and how do I qualify?
ANS: If you own and occupy your home as a principal residence, it may be exempt from a portion of your local school operating taxes. A Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit issued under Authority of P.A. 237 of 1994 (available under the Forms Section of the Assessing Department) must be completed and filed with your township or city by May 1st. Owning means you hold the legal title, or you are currently buying it on a recorded land contract. (Renters should not file this form.) Occupying means your principal residence is the place you intend to return to whenever you go away. It is the address that appears on your Driver License or Voter Registration Card. Your children should attend school from this address, and your State Income Tax Form is received there. A Farmland Exemption or Agricultural Use Homestead is for property classified agricultural by the Assessor. To qualify, Contact the local Assessor for an explanation of details and request a copy of Form 2599. (The Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit can be found on the Assessing Department’s Form Section.)
13. Why, and when, do I have to Rescind/Withdraw my Principal Residence Exemption?
ANS: By filing a Request to Rescind Form, issued under Authority of P.A. 237 of 1994, enables people who are selling or converting their home to another use to rescind their exemption. It also enables people to change the percentage that they occupy as their principal residence, or to remove an exemption they had been receiving erroneously. (The Rescind/Withdraw Form with instructions is available on the Assessing Department’s Form Section.)
14. What is a Poverty Exemption?
ANS: A Poverty Exemption is an exemption from paying property taxes. To be eligable for an exemption, a homeowner must apply to the local assessing unit and they must meet certain income standards. The applicant must own and occupy the property as their principal residence and meet poverty income standards. The board of Review will determine if the applicant qualifies.
15. Do I need to get a permit for work I do on my home?
ANS: You need to contact the Township Office to see if a permit is required.