Assessor's FAQ

Below you will find a list of questions that we frequently receive in the Assessor's Office.

Question: What are assessments? And when do they occur?
Answer: Assessed value (AV) is 50% of the True Cash Value (TCV) for the property, as it existed on December 31. Assessment notices are mailed out to the taxpayers in February informing them of what the values will be for that year.

Question: What types of home improvement will increase my Taxable Value?
Answer: Normal maintenance and repair items such as: replacement siding, roof, furnace, windows, remodeling of kitchens or baths, and either maintenance items, will not cause an increase in the Taxable Value of a property. New items that had not been previously assessed, however, are added to the taxable value. Examples of new items are: deck or patio, addition, finished basement, air conditioning, or new bathroom. Likewise, property that is removed is subtracted from the Taxable Value. Examples are: demolition of a garage, a fire loss, or removal of an in-ground pool.

Question: I just bought my house, will the Assessed Value automatically be half of what I paid?
Answer: By state law, a home’s Assessed Value is not half its purchase price, but half of its Market Value. For a variety of reasons, the purchase price may not represent the normal Market Value of the property. The sales study and process identified above are used to determine Market Values. The Assessor must follow the same procedures for determining the Assessed Value of properties that have experienced a “transfer of ownership” as are used for properties that have not experienced a “transfer of ownership.”

Question: What does it mean for a property to “uncap”?
Answer: A property is said to “uncap” the year following a change in ownership. The Taxable Value then be the same as the State Equalized Value. This is called "uncapping the Taxable Value" and the procedure is constitutionally mandated.

Question: If I refinance my home, will it “uncap”?
Answer: No, if the property is still under the same ownership and the mortgage was refinanced, the Taxable Value remains “capped."

Question: I purchased a property in the City of Burton, do I have to file a Property Transfer Affidavit?
Answer: The law requires a purchaser to file an original Property Transfer Affidavit within 45 days of the transfer of ownership. The actual consideration of the transfer must be disclosed. Failure to file a completed PTA, after the 45 days have elapsed, is subject to a maximum $200.00 penalty.

Question: How can I find out property data for my property and other properties in the City?
Answer:  You may visit the Assessor's Office at City Hall Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (except Holidays), or call the office at (810) 743-1500. If you wish to look up the property on line, click here.

Question: I received a letter in the mail with a Request to Rescind Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption, what is it for?
Answer: There have been changes in your registration to vote or we received a mailing address change for you from another department. You will want to change it back your registration to vote because that is one of the items the State of Michigan checks when approving a Principal Residence Exemption.

Question: I think my neighbor had _________ on my property line, or I need to know where my property line is?
Answer: You will need to contact an independent survey company, property lines are considered private property and the owner is responsible for knowing where they are.

Question: I will be closing my business by the end of the year, what do I need to do?
Answer: The City Assessor’s Office will need a letter, in writing stating the date the business will be closed and a current mailing address.  You will still be responsible for the current years tax bills since you occupied the building December 31 of the previous year. All assets will need to be removed from the property prior to December 31st or they will be taxed for the following year. 

Question: I own a few lots or a larger parcel of land and would like to have them split/combined?
Answer: They must submit a split application with surveys that have buildings with setbacks. There is a $50.00 fee for splits. The cut off date is November 15 to qualify for the next year.  Combining property will not decrease the amount you pay in taxes.
Question: Someone is driving by my house taking pictures.
Answer: We are currently trying to update our records and the State of Michigan requires we have a picture of all our properties.

Question: Where can I get a copy of my deed?
Answer: The Genesee County Register of Deeds; located in the Genesee County Administration Building in downtown Flint.

Question: Why is there a special assessment on my tax bill or what did I pay in taxes last year?
Answer: The Treasurer's Office will be able to answer this question; the Assessor's Office does not handle taxes.

Question: What if I disagree with my assessment?
Answer: You receive an annual Assessment Change Notice from the City the last weekend in February each year. If you disagree with the assessment of your property, you may protest in person or in writing to the March sessions of the City’s Board of Review, a citizen panel that reviews assessments. The Board of Review begins hearing individual assessment appeals in the second Monday in March. The assessment change notice details the dates and times of the meetings. To personally appear before the Board, you must schedule an appointment. Remember, however, if you do not protest to the Board of Review on a timely basis, you cannot later appeal the assessment. In other words, don’t wait until your tax bill comes out- its too late then. If you still disagree after the Board of Review considers your protest, you may further appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The Board of Review decision notice will be mailed to you with information on the appeal process.

Question: Does the Board of Review have the authority to increase an assessment or Tentative Taxable Value?
Answer: The General Property Tax Law states that “The Board of Review shall correct the Assessed Value or Tentative Value of the property, in a manner as in their judgment will make the valuation of the property relatively just and proper.” In a number of instances, the Board of Review has raised the valuations.

Question: What is my recourse if I disagree with the decision of the Board of Review?
Answer: For residential appeals the next level of appeals is the Michigan Tax Tribunal. These appeals must be filed no later than July 31st. Commercial and Industrial appeals must be filed by May 31st. The address of the Michigan Tax Tribunal is PO Box 30232, Lansing, MI 48909.

Question: What is a Conditional Rescission?
Answer: A Conditional Rescission allows an owner to receive a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) on his or her current property located in the State of Michigan and on a previously exempted property simultaneously if the previous principal residence for three (3) consecutive years.  (All must apply):

  • Is not occupied
  • Is for sale
  • Is not leased
  • Is not used for any business or commercial purpose
This exemption must be filed with the Assessor on or before June 1 or November 1 of the first year the exemption is claimed. This exemption must be submitted annually on or before December 31 to verify the property still complies with the Conditional Rescission requirements in order to receive the exemption the following year.

Question: If an owner misses the June 1, November 1, or December 31 deadline, can the Board of Review reinstate the PRE under a Conditional Rescission?
Answer:  No, the Board of Review has no authority in regards to a Conditional Rescission and cannot institute a Conditional Rescission on behalf of an owner if a deadline has been missed or for previous tax years. Specific deadlines were included in the statutory language, which did not address missed deadlines in section 19 of MCL 211.77cc. Section 19 specifically states “An owner who owned and occupied a residence on June 1 for which the exemption was not on the tax roll may file and appeal…” The inherent nature of a Conditional Rescission does not meet the requirements of Section 19 since the owner does not occupy the property.

Question: What is the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) Active Duty Military Affidavit?
Answer: A person with an established Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) to retain that PRE while on active duty in the United States armed forces if the principal residence is rented or leased. Property that currently qualifies as a principal residence continues to qualify for three years after any portion of the dwelling or unit included in, or constituting the principal residence, is rented or leased to another person and is used as a residence.