Assessing

Overview

The primary function of the Assessing Office is to accurately estimate the market value of taxable properties within the community. As properties are sold, a record of the sales prices and transaction dates are kept. Later, a market study is conducted to determine the ratios at which comparable properties are being sold in various areas throughout the community. Public Act 206 of 1893, as amended, established the General Property Tax Law under which the Assessing Office operates. Section I of the law states, “…That all property, real and personal, within the jurisdiction of this state, not expressly exempted, shall be subject to taxation.”

The assessed value of a property in Michigan is 50 percent of its True Cash Value. To determine the assessed value, the Assessing Office considers the following five factors: Taxability, ownership, description of property, location of property, and market value. The term True Cash Value is defined in the tax law as the “Usual Selling Price which could be obtained therefore at private sale.”

The Assessing Office is also charged with maintaining up-to-date records on all properties within its jurisdiction. Information including current property ownership, legal description, location of easements, property dimensions, improvements, and land use is maintained.

Personal Property Reforms

In December of 2012, the Michigan Legislature enacted several personal property reforms. This letter is to advise of the changes in Personal Property reporting for 2014 brought about by P .A. 402 of 2012, as amended by P.A. 153 of 2013.

Generally speaking, this is known as the "small business tax exemption" and provides that eligible personal property will be exempt from taxation, beginning in 2014 as long as specific requirements are met. Of most importance is that the exemption applies to the combined true cash value of all personal property owned by, leased by, or in the possession of the owner or a related entity claiming the exemption as long as it is less than $80,000 in the local tax collecting unit. This means that, multiple locations in one jurisdiction have combined values of all locations and the total true cash value of property is combined, regardless of who pays the taxes on the property.

To claim the exemption, the owner of the eligible personal property. must annually file an affidavit with the Chesterfield Township Assessors Office no later than February 10 of each year. Click here for the affidavit (Form 5076).  If you do not timely file your affidavit you will not be entitled to the exemption, even if you qualify for it.

Furthermore, if you file a 5076 Affidavit of Eligible Personal Property, you are not required to file the Personal Property Statement that you will receive at a later date. We anticipate there will be a lot of confusion with taxpayers regarding the implementation of this new legislation. You may find additional information from the Michigan State Tax Commission under Bulletin # 11 of 2013, dated November 4, 2013.  Click here to read the bulletin

Additionally you may contact the Chesterfield Township Assessors office if you have questions at (586) 949-0400 then press 8 then press 5 or contact the Assessor's Office by email at dbabb@chesterfieldtwp.org.

Assessment Change Notice

Every February, the Assessing Office mails the "Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation, and Property Classification" to owners of property within the Township. Listed on the notice is the property identification number, and common address, as well as the tentative assessed value, taxable value and information regarding filing appeals with the Board of Review.

 printer-friendly Assessment Change Notice

Right to Appeal Assessed Values

Prior to the first Monday in March each year, the Assessing Office must prepare a new assessment roll. At that time, taxpayers are notified of any changes in assessed and/or taxable values. The assessment roll is examined and reviewed at the annual meeting of the Board of Review. Anyone wishing to contest his or her property assessment may do so by directing an appeal to this body.

Board of Review

The Board of Review reviews the assessment roll received from the Assessor to check to see that it is complete, accurate, uniform and valid. It is a three-member board comprised of Chesterfield Township residents that have knowledge of property values. They are appointed by the Board of Trustees. This body has the authority to make any adjustments they deem necessary in order to ensure that assessments are lawfully set. Petitioners should be prepared to present evidence that his or her property assessment exceeds 50% of the True Cash Value.

The Board of Review will meet to hear aggrieved taxpayers, the Monday following the first Tuesday in March, time and dates of these meetings are written on the taxpayers Assessment Change Notices.

The Board of Review will hear the protests of anyone wishing to contest the current property assessment during the month of March only. Appearances before the Board of Review are made by appointment. Appointments may be made by calling 586-949-0400 ext. 8, then ext. 5

Letters of appeal will also be accepted if the taxpayer is unable to attend said hearings or by authorizing a representative to state their appeal on behalf of the property owner. All letters of objection must be received in the Township office before the close of the March Board of Review which is also indicated on the Assessment Change Notice.

All Board of Review correspondence letters must be legible, preferably typed or hand written print on 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper to be made part of the file. The Board requests that the petitioner have 3 Copies, (one for each board member) made prior to coming in for any appeals.

The Board of Review Petition, click here, is required for each parcel under appeal.

Valuation Appeals

The taxpayer must give evidence to show that the assessment does not represent 50% of True Cash Value. Types of evidence considered would be a recent sales document of the property, an appraisal, similar homes in the same sales area that sold for less, etc. The Assessor's Office has current sales information available online which indicates assessments and how they are based. When comparing sales, residents need to be especially careful of differences from one home to another in size, age, quality and location. Per state law, the sale price of a property cannot be the sole determining factor of the assessment of that property. Neither the Assessor nor the Board of Review can raise or lower a property assessment based solely on its sale price. Mortgage appraisals also may not show True Cash Value.

Board of Review Decision

The Board of Review will not give the decision at the time of the hearing, but will mail the decision no later than the first Monday in June. This is the date required under the State of Michigan Property Tax Act. The decision of the Board is binding for the current assessment year only. The letter will indicate the Board of Review’s decision and information concerning the right to appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the time limits for appealing, and the tribunal’s address. Please pay special attention to the appeal process and deadline for filing.

July and December Boards of Review

The Board of Review also meets in July and December for Clerical Errors, Mutual Mistakes of Fact, and Poverty Exemption requests. All other types of appeals can only be heard at the March Board of Review.

Hardships

Section 211.7u(1) of the Michigan General Property Tax Act defines the poverty or Hardship Exemption as a method to provide relief for those who, in the judgment of the Board of Review, are unable to fully contribute to the annual property tax burden of their principal residence due to the financial status.

A property owner can request a poverty or hardship exemption at the March, July or December Boards of Review. The exemption is based on household income and number of people who reside at the property in question. The income of all household residents should be reported when applying for the exemption. Applications for Poverty Exemption are available in the Assessor's Office. The Board of Review uses the Federal Poverty Guidelines to determine how much of an exemption will be allowed. The guidelines are printed within each application.

Transfers of Ownership

Since the enactment of Proposal A in March, 1994, the ownership of property and the date of property transfer are very important. The Assessing Office receives copies of warranty deeds on sales, property transfer affidavits, and homestead exemption updates to determine ownership and rate of taxability.
If you have been involved in the transfer of property on or since January 1, 1995, please be sure you have filed a property transfer affidavit with the Assessing Office. These affidavits are to be submitted within 45 days of the transaction.

printer-friendly Property Transfer Affidavit

Homestead Exemption from Some School Taxes

Another result of March, 1994’s Proposal A is that residential property owners can receive an 18-mill reduction on the annual school tax levy. This exemption may be applied only to an owner/occupant’s primary residence. To ensure your eligibility for this exemption, please be sure you have filed a homestead exemption update with the Assessing Office.

Principal Residence Exemption Information

New homeowners should be aware that a "P.R.E." Principal Residence Exemption Form must be filed if they intend to occupy their new home as their principal residence. This form is signed by the buyer at the time of closing and allows an exemption of 18 mills of school operating tax. If a homeowner does not have a copy of this form with his closing papers, he may pick up a blank form at the Assessor's Office.

If the property did not have an exemption previously and you owned and occupied the property prior to May 1, visit the Assessor's Office as soon as possible to complete and file the Affidavit for Principal Residence Exemption. Call the office for more information.

printer-friendly Principal Residence Exemption
printer-friendly Rescind Principal Residence Exemption

Personal Property

MCL 211.19 states that businesses must complete and deliver a personal property statement on or before February 20 of each year. We request they be delivered by February 1 to aid us in timely processing.

Starting in 2000, the Personal Property Statement has a new look. There are now six multiplier tables for reporting equipment used to operate your business. These costs should be reported by year of acquisition. Please make sure to use the correct table when listing costs of equipment. The instructions include a guideline for each table.

If there is equipment at your location that is owned by someone else, please fill in the proper section on page 3.

When listing leasehold improvements, it is necessary to describe the improvement so the Assessing staff can determine if it is real or personal. If no description is given, it will be assumed to be personal.

Also, Section O, page 4, is used to list rental information, which is used to study the market rent, by business type.

Change of Name or Address

You may change your name or address in the Assessing Office for mailing purposes only by submitting a request in writing. This will not change the owner of record on your property. In order to legally add or delete names from a deed, you must submit a Quit Claim Deed to the Macomb County Register of Deeds Office. For further information regarding registering deeds, you may contact the Register of Deeds Office at (586)469-7953.

Should you have any questions regarding the material covered in the preceding paragraphs you may contact the Assessing Office at (586) 949-0400. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am until 4:30pm.

 

 

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