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How Your Property is Assessed

The market value of your property is simply the probable price that it would sell for in an arm’s length transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

The Assessor is required by state law to assess at 50% of true cash value all assessable property, as of December 31, of each year. This includes residential, commercial, and personal property (machinery and equipment for commercial and industrial properties).

The Assessor takes various factors into account when establishing property value, including:

  • Description of the property and its improvements
  • Lot dimensions
  • Age of home and/or other buildings
  • Land value
  • Building square footage
  • Value-enhancing amenities
  • Sales in your area

Attention Property Owner!

With the passage of Proposal A, in 1994, there are new rules and regulations that impact your property tax assessment.  When purchasing a piece of property, either improved or vacant,  you are required by law to file with your local government an “Affidavit For Principal Residence Exemption” and a “Property Transfer Affidavit”.  New terms such as “capped value” and “taxable value” have become part of the assessment and taxation procedure.

To summarize:

  • State Equalized Value (S.E.V.) is half of the Appraised Market Value.
  • Capped Value is last year’s taxable value increased by the amount of the Consumer Price Index (with a maximum of 5%) including additions or loss of property.
  • Taxable Value is the lesser of the State Equalized and Capped Values. The Taxable Value will be used for the calculation of property taxes.

Affidavit For Principal Residence Exemption: This affidavit allows you to claim an exemption from some school operating taxes. For your homestead to be eligible, you must own and occupy it as your legal principal residence. This affidavit must be filed by May 1 with your township or city in which your property is located. You only need to file this form once.

Property Transfer Affidavit: This form must be filed whenever real estate or some types of personal property are transferred (even if you are not recording a deed). 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. The information on this form is not confidential.