Senator helps residents with property tax appeals
Feb. 26, 2014 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
If you believe your assessment is in error, you may appeal to your local Board of Review and if necessary the Michigan Tax Tribunal
State Senator Patrick Colbeck, has recently mailed out a valuable information guide for his constituents in the 7th District on how to effectively appeal property tax assessments. The guide includes eight steps on how to appeal if you think your assessment is incorrect.
- The term “taxable value” (TV) was introduced in 1995 and is the value used to calculate your property taxes.
- Annual growth in taxable value is capped at the rate of inflation, or 5 percent, whichever is less.
- The State Equalized Value (SEV) must still reflect 50 percent of the property’s true cash value and may increase or decrease by more than the rate of inflation or 5 percent in any tax year.
- Property taxes are no longer based on SEV. Changes to your home’s assessed value will reduce your taxes only if it is an amount lower than the taxable value.
- If you believe your assessment is in error, you may appeal to your local Board of Review and it necessary the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
TRUE CASH VALUE (TVC) The actual value of your home, as determined by the local assessor.
STATE EQUALIZED VALUE (SEV) On-half of the true cash value of your home.
TAXABLE VALUE (TV) The value used to calculate your property taxes.
You may appeal our taxable value and SEV to the March Board of Review in 2014. Go to you local assessor’s office and obtain a copy of your property record card. Ask the assessing department to explain the document.
Check the property record card for errors to make sure it accurately reflects your property. The assessor may make your case with the Board of Review.
When you receive your notice of assessment, review it carefully. Locate the taxable value and SEV on the notice. If tentative taxable value increased by more than 1.6 percent above your 2013 taxable value, and you did not improve your home with additions, then your taxable value may exceed the assessment cap. Ask your assessor why the taxable value increased by more than the rate of inflation.
Remember, annual growth in taxable value is capped at the rate of inflation or 5 percent, whichever is less, until the property transfers. SEV is not capped, but must reflect 50 percent of your property’s true case value.
Locate the dates and times the March Board of Review is in session to hear appeals on the noticed of assessment and whether you must make an appointment. If you believe your property is unfairly assessed relative to similar property and plan to appeal, you will need to provide market evidence.
To appeal based on financial hardship, contact the assessor’s office for an application. Applicants must meet requirements for both income and asset levels adopted by the local unit of government.
Inspect your home for problems beyond normal aging. Obtain written repair estimates and take photographs to document any structural damage. Obtain citizen complaints of any undesirable characteristics in your neighborhood, such as excessive noise or eyesores.
Sales of comparable property are one of the most important tools for a property tax assessment appeal. If comparable properties are selling for less than double your SEV you may argue that your property is over-assessed.
Make your comparable study by reviewing sales of local homes. A local real estate agent may be a good resource. To establish commonality, check and compare the square footage, age, and type of house, as well as other features like number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Also check for differences in acreage, street traffic lake access and presence of outbuildings to make sure your comparables are truly comparable.
Alternately, you may wish to have your home professionally appraised. A professional appraisal may be good evidence against an improper assessment, however the Board of Review in not required to accept the appraisal as proof of value.
A mistake some home buyers make is failing to inform the assessor of items such as appliances included in a home’s sale price. Inform your assessor in writing about these items, as they are exempt form assessment.
Check to see if you must complete Form L-4035 (Petition to Board of Review) or a local form to request an appeal. Put all of your information into letter form. Keep in mind you or a representative must present to the Board of Review in person at one of the specified times, unless your community allows a letter appeal. Bring photographs and several copies of all documents. You may only have a few minutes for a presentation, so be concise, courteous and organized.
If you are not satisfied with the decision of your local Board of Review, you may continue your appeal. To do this, you must send a letter or formal petition the Michigan Tax Tribunal, P.O. Box 30232, Lansing, MI 48909 and file an appeal by July 31.
You must appeal to the local board of review before you can appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
More information at www. Michigan.gov/taxtribunal or call 517-636-7551 or contact Senator Colbeck at: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 866-262-7307.
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