The Equalization Department assists the County Board of Commissioner in examining the assessment rolls of the townships and cities and ascertaining whether the real and personal property in the respective townships and cities has been equally and uniformly assessed at true cash value.
The County Board of Commissioners equalizes separately personal property, and the following classes of real property; agricultural, developmental, residential, commercial, industrial, and timber cutover real property. This is done by adding to or deducting from the valuation of personal property and each class of real property in each township and city an amount that will produce a sum, which represents 50% of true cash value.
In the residential class, there is sufficient data to directly compare sales to assessments to determine whether the residential property class in each of the 16 townships and 1 cities has been equally and uniformly assessed at 50% of true cash value. Sales from a two-year period are used in these sales studies. The year 2014 studies for 2015 equalization will include sales from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2014.
Appraisal studies are done in the other classes of real property where sufficient sales are not available. In these classes, a random sample is selected to be representative of the entire class of property. Staff appraisers and the deputy director then draw up property record cards, collect the field data and determine the true cash value of each property selected.
The Equalization Department does not determine individual assessments. The appraisals made by the equalization staff are used to determine the true cash value of an entire class of property.
The studies conducted by the department are subject to review, audit and change by the Michigan State Tax Commission.
A personal property auditor conducts audits of a sample of the personal property in each of the 16 townships and 1 cities to determine whether the personal property in the respective townships and cities has been equally and uniformly assessed at 50% of true cash value.
The department also calculates all millage rollback fractions required by law (Headlee, Truth in Assessing, Truth in County Equalization and Truth in Taxation). The department provides assistance to local assessing officers when requested, as well as assistance to School Districts, Intermediate School Districts, authorities, etc.
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