The window envelope comes from your Municipal Tax Assessor’s office. Your muscles tense. Your thoughts focus. Wasn’t the mortgage company suppose to handle property tax stuff? Who needs another bill. Your adrenaline has kicked in to help you face this “threat.” It sharpens your focus.
We nervously open the envelope. Its contents scream in large font across the top “THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL.” Relief washes over us as we put the paper down. This is one of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make. Because if you take the time to read and understand this form you will reduce the amount of taxes you pay on your home.
First year homeowners those who bought in 2017 should pay special attention. If this is the first year owning your home then one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that your property is properly assessed the first year of ownership. Transfer of Ownership is a major taxable event in MIchigan. Transfer of Ownership includes not only purchases but inheritance, divorce, probate, etc.
Ignoring this can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your home ownership. This will be the only time that your state equalized value (SEV) will be the same as your taxable value. It will greatly impact your cost of ownership due to the “pop-up tax.”
You want your taxable value to start out as low as possible. The only way to get it done is to appeal your property tax assessment. The good news is that it's not hard to do. Since you just bought the house, you probably have all the documentation you need to make an effective appeal.
11/25/2017 1 Comment
The Detroit city government fraudulently overtaxed Detroit property owners during the Kilpatrick, Cockrel, Bing, and Duggan administrations. This led it to the systematic dispossession of Detroit homeowners by government. Unsurprisingly the burden was disproportionately borne by those whose properties had lower values and could least afford it.
At the height of the recent economic crisis, Detroit assessed property at market values that did not reflect what was happening to Detroit real estate. Valuations for tax purposes were going up. In reality, property values were going down, fast and hard. The city government systematically inflated the property tax assessments of homes in Detroit beyond the legal limit.
Starting in 2008, home values in Detroit plummeted as a result of the Great Recession. Instead of reducing property tax assessments to match the lower value of homes, the government maintained the previous higher assessed value. The Michigan Constitution sets property assessments at no more than 50% of market value. That value is known as the State Equalized Value or SEV