Frequently Asked Questions

 
1. What characteristics about my property are maintained by the City?
2. When are my property taxes due?
3. What is an Assessment Change Notice and why is it important?
4. What is the responsibility of the Board of Review and why do they meet at various times of the year?
5. The Board of Review denied my assessment appeal. What can I do now?
6. What is the Principal Residence Affidavit and what happened to the homestead exemption?
7. When do I need to file a Property Transfer Affidavit?
8. I pay my property taxes through my mortgage company. What happens when I pay off my mortgage?
9. I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income. My neighbor told me that I may be able to defer my summer property tax payment. Is there such a program?

 
1. What characteristics about my property are maintained by the City?

Details regarding your lot or parcel size, building square footage, building age and height, number of rooms including bedrooms and bathrooms, garage capacity, foundation type, decks, porches, as well as a recent sales history.  Click here to link to the property assessment files where you may view your specific data by entering your name, property address, or parcel ID number.

2. When are my property taxes due?

The summer bills are mailed out during the 3rd or 4th week of June. They are due July 1st and you have until August 31st to pay without penalty. After August 31st, a 4 percent penalty is added to the bill and interest at the rate of 1/2 percent per month is charged after September 30th to a maximum of 6 percent.

The winter bills are mailed out during the 3rd week in November.  They are due December 1st through February 14th.  After February 14th, a 3 percent penalty is added onto the bill.

All tax bills that remain unpaid at the end of the day on February 28th are sent to the County Treasurer as delinquent.  The County adds additional penalty at that time.

3.  What is an Assessment Change Notice and why is it important?

The Assessment Change Notice is mailed to all residents during the first two weeks of February. This notice indicates the prior year and current year Assessed and Taxable Values. Included with this notice are the meeting dates and times of the Property Tax Board of Review. Also, this notice should be saved, as the Taxable Value for the current year must be listed on your State Income Tax Return for the following year. (Click Here for sample PDF Assessment Change Notice.)

4. What is the responsibility of the Board of Review and why do they meet at various times of the year?

The March Board of Review is convened during the first two weeks of March. The Property Tax Board of Review is a small group of citizens appointed by City Council under State law to hear taxpayer appeals. If you feel that your Assessed Property Values are too high, based on your analysis of your property, you may file a protest with this Board. Meetings with the Board of Review are by appointment only. The meeting dates and times will be supplied with your Assessment Change Notice.

The July and December Board of Reviews convene to correct factual errors in Assessment Records. You may come to the Assessing Department at any time and review your record to ensure that you are being assessed properly.

5. The Board of Review denied my assessment appeal.  What can I do now?

If you challenge the Assessed Valuation on your property to the March Board of Review and are not satisfied with their decision, you may protest further to the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT). You do not need an attorney to do this. The residential Small Claims Division is set up to accommodate small taxpayers's disputes. The decision that the MTT makes on your property assessment is final and not appealable to a higher court. To protest your assessment, you must file a letter with the MTT no later than June 30th of the current

6. What is the Principal Residence Affidavit and what happened to the homestead exemption?

To claim a residential home as your ‘principal residence’, you must occupy the home to be eligible for exemption from the school operating millage on your taxes.  This exemption was formerly called the ‘Homestead Exemption’ and is now called the ‘Principal Residence Exemption’ so as not to be confused with the Michigan Homestead Credit that is filed with your income tax return.

This exemption only applies to homes that are occupied by the owner of the property.  As a reminder, in order to claim this exemption, you must file an application and must rescind all other Principal Residence Affidavits claimed in your name prior to applying for any new principal residence exemptions within the State of Michigan.

7. When do I need to file a Property Transfer Affidavit?

You must file this form whenever there is a transfer of ownership of real property (home/lot) even if you are only adding a spouse or child to the title.  There may be a fine of $5.00 per day to a maximum of $200.00 for failure to file this form.  If you close through a real estate agent or attorney this should be supplied to you.  The Assessor's Office can supply you with this form if needed, or click here for a PDF versio

8. I pay my property taxes through my mortgage company.  What happens when I pay off my mortgage?

Your lender may require you to pay your local property taxes monthly along with your mortgage payment.  If so, the Finance Department sends your tax bill directly to the mortgage company, bank or servicing agent who handles your mortgage.  If you pay off your mortgage, your mortgage company must notify the City that it no longer wants the tax bill.  Once we receive notice from them, we will delete the mortgage code from your bill and you will then receive your property tax bill from us directly at your home address.

9. I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income.  My neighbor told me that I may be able to defer my summer property tax payment.  Is there such a program?

If you are 62 years of age or older and have an annual household income less than $25,000, you may defer paying your summer property taxes until February 14th.  This will enable you to use your Michigan Property Tax Refund to help pay your total property tax bill.  Forms for this deferral are available by clicking here for a PDF version  or at the City Assessor and Finance Department.  These forms must be filed with the Finance Department.