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Categorized | News

Notice of Assessment


By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Each year, about this time, property owners should receive a notice of assessment from the City’s assessor. That notice of assessment, as it states in bold letters at the top, is not a tax bill. Instead, a notice of assessment is simply a notice to the property owner of what the assessor has determined what your property is now worth.  Even though it is not your tax bill, it is important for you to look the information over and ensure that it is accurate because the time to appeal the information comes up very quickly, usually the first week or two in March.

The most important information on this form is the table in the middle of the page where the Taxable Value, Assessed Value and State Equalized Value are listed for your property. Those terms can be confusing but it’s important to understand the difference between them to properly understand your property assessment.

The Taxable Value is the most important number to look at; that is the number that you will use to figure out how much you will actually pay in taxes. To figure out how much you will pay in taxes, divide the Taxable Value by 1000 and then multiply that number by the millage rate. The taxable value of your property can only ever go up by 5 percent or the rate of inflation each year, whichever is lower. That rate is listed on the form and is called the inflation rate multiplier. In the table you should see last year’s taxable value, the current year’s proposed taxable value and the actual increase based upon the inflation rate multiplier. The property’s taxable value continues to increase at the lesser of inflation or 5 percent each year and that number is referred to as the “capped” number. If the property changed ownership over the last year, that taxable value becomes “uncapped” and automatically resets to the assessed value for the next year. One important thing to recognize is that the Taxable Value’s change is not how much your taxes will change but it can help you make that determination.  If your property’s Taxable Value increased by $1,217, divide that number by 1000 and then multiply that by the current millage rate. If the millage rate is 44 mills, you should expect to pay about 1,217 ÷ 1000= 1.217 X 44=$53.55 more in taxes based upon your property value increasing. 

The assessed value is 50 percent of the estimate of the cash value of your home.  It is what your taxable rate would be if the taxable rate was allowed to increase at its natural rate instead of the lower of the inflation rate or 5 percent. This amount based upon a number of factors but a major one is what similar properties sell for in the current market. In other words, you should be able to sell your property for double what your assessed value is, at least in theory. If the property is sold, the new owners would end up paying the assessed value for the first year because it “uncapped” and then that number would be “capped” every year after as the taxable value until the property is sold again.

The State Equalized Value is related to and very similar to the Assessed Value, in that the State Equalized Value is the Assessed Value multiplied by the Equalization Factor. The Equalization Factor is part of a process undertaken by the State and County to ensure that local properties are all being assessed accurately and fairly.

If you have questions or concerns about your notice of assessment you should contact the City’s assessor at 616-696-1330 x102 or follow the instructions on the Notice of Assessment form.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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