Your property taxes
Property taxes are levied on two types of property in the State of Michigan, "real property" (land and buildings) and "personal property" (machines, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and signs used by businesses). Each year the City Assessor's office estimates the value of all property in the city--both real and personal--as of December 31, otherwise known as "tax day." The valuation and condition of the owner's property on this date is used to determine its value.
A "Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation, and Property Classification" is then sent to all property owners about March 1. The notice indicates three values for each property: Assessed Value, State Equalized Value and Taxable Value.
Every property has 3 values
Assessed Value is equal to approximately half of the estimated market value of the property.
State Equalized Value (SEV) is the Assessed Value multiplied by an "equalization factor," a number that is determined by the County Equalization department which is usually 1. Therefore, Assessed Value and State Equalized Value are usually the same.
Taxable Value is the value used to compute the taxes on the property. Proposal A, passed by Michigan voters in 1994, places a limit or "cap" on the Taxable Value. Starting in 1995, if there is no transfer of ownership or if no improvements are made to the property, the increase in Taxable Value is limited to the lesser of the increase in the consumer price index (inflation rate) for the current year or 5%. If there is a transfer of ownership or if improvements are made to your property, the Taxable Value can increase to the State Equalized Value.
Calculating your tax levy
Property taxes are calculated using the following formula:
Taxable Value ÷ $1,000 x millage rate = Tax Levy (amount of taxes). Administration fee and special assessments (if any) will be added.
The City charges an administration fee of 1% on all tax levies to cover the cost of collecting taxes for other governmental units.
Principle residence property
Principle residence property is exempt from the local "school operating" levy. Homestead property is defined as the owner's principal residence, the address on his/her voter registration and driver's license. Persons can have only one principal residence. Applications for new principle residence exemptions must be received by the Assessor's office by May 1. If a person's principal residence changes during the year, an Update Form must be filed with the City Assessor's office.
Taxes are billed in July and December. Summer tax bills are sent by July 1 and are due by September 30. A one time Penalty of 4% is charged on Oct 1 and Interest of .5% per month is charged on any unpaid balance. Taxpayers older than 62 who make less than $40,000 per year can file for a deferment of the due date to February 28.
Winter tax bills are sent December 1 and are due by February 28.
To avoid interest, tax payments must be received in the City Treasurer's office by the due dates. Postmarks are not accepted. Partial payments are accepted; however, interest will continue to be charged on the unpaid balance.
Taxes are collected by the City Treasurer's office until February 28. On March 1, payments must be taken or sent to the Genesee County Treasurer's office, which sends delinquent notices after March 1. Delinquent taxes will continue to accrue a 4% collection fee and interest at a rate that increases by 1% per month for the first year. If unpaid after one year, the rate increases to 1.5%, retro to the first month plus additional fees. After two years, the property is foreclosed and sold at a public auction. For more information contact the Genesee County Treasurer at (810) 257-3054.