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Assessing - Frequently Asked Questions


Why does my Assessment change every year?

The Assessed Value of your property reflects an estimate of 50% of your property value. This estimate is based on sales of similar homes within the same or similar neighborhoods. Your Assessed Value changes to reflect the change in selling prices of similar homes. Additionally, property improvements may increase your Assessed Value.

What is Taxable Value?
Taxable Value is the amount on which a property owner pays property taxes. Taxable Value is the lesser of Assessed Value (SEV) or the prior years taxable value minus losses, increased by the lesser of 5% or the Inflation Rate Multiplier, plus Additions. A transfer of ownership will change the Taxable Value to the assessed value in the year succeeding the transfer of ownership.

Losses are the removal of property, such as removal of a garage. An Addition includes finishing a basement, building a deck, and other improvements.

How can my taxable value go up when my assessed value goes down?
Over the years the majority of property values in West Bloomfield Township have increased in value greater than the IRM. However, most neighborhoods are now experiencing a decline in the market value. The constitutional amendment known as Proposal A requires that the Taxable Value increase by the IRM, however it cannot exceed the Assessed Value.

Many property owners have little, if any, difference in the amount of their Assessed Values and Taxable Values. Assessed Value represents 50% of the estimated property value. Taxable Value is a mathematical formula which is based on the preceding years Taxable Value increased by the Inflation Rate Multiplier (IRM). The IRM is determined for the entire State and applied by each municipality. Taxable Value may also increase for physical additions and decrease for physical losses.

The year after you purchase your home or lot, the Taxable Value is "uncapped" and becomes the same amount as the Assessed Value for that year only. Each year thereafter, the Taxable Value is adjusted by the IRM in the same manner as described above.

Proposal A mandates that the Taxable Value is adjusted each year by the IRM. The Assessed Value is adjusted each year based on sales studies. Sales studies are based primarily on actual sales of similar homes in similar areas. The sales analysis may indicate that the market value should increase, decrease or stay the same.

If the Assessed Value of the home is determined to be less than the Taxable Value which has been adjusted by the IRM, the Assessed Value (the lower value) becomes the Taxable Value. Taxable value is the amount on which property taxes are calculated.

What if I do not agree with the Assessed Value or the Taxable Value of my property?
Each property is valued annually. Property owners are notified annually of their revised assessment. Review the Assessment notice carefully. If you dispute the Assessed Value the Assessor's Office recommends that you discuss your Assessed Value and the calculation Taxable Value with our office. Also, visit the Assessor's Office to inspect your property record card for accuracy. The property owner may appeal their Assessment to the March Board of Review. Taxable Value may change as a result of an Assessment revision, however, may not be appealed independently of the Assessment.

The Assessment Notice lists the dates that the March Board of Review is in session. The March Board of Review conducts informal hearings on the current years Assessment. Valuation disputes may not be heard by the Board of Review after their March Board sessions have closed. Therefore, it is important that property owners disputing their Assessment file their appeal timely.

The West Bloomfield Township Board of Review consists of three groups of three members. These nine members, along with an alternate member, are appointed by the Township Board in accordance with the Michigan General Property Tax Act.

What if I dispute the decision of the March Board of Review?
If you dispute the decision of the March Board of Review, a property owner may appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The appeal must be filed with the Tribunal. Certain appeals may require an appearance before the March Board of Review before  you may appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Are the appraisal records open to the public?
Virtually all the Assessment records are available to the public. Property owners may examine their property records, as well as any other property in the Township.