In excess of 50 percent of the revenue of the City of Ann Arbor comes from property taxes. Property taxes are the product of millage (tax) rates and taxable values.
The Assessing Office establishes assessed and taxable values of all taxable property within the City of Ann Arbor. To establish the assessed value of each real property in the city, the Assessing Office lists, inventories, inspects, analyzes sales and income data, calculates depreciated costs and appraises the value of each taxable property within the City of Ann Arbor.
To establish the taxable value of each property in the city, the Assessing Office monitors transfers of ownership to determine when the taxable value of a property becomes uncapped. To establish the taxable and assessed value of personal property, the Assessing Office identifies new business owners by performing street surveys, processes personal property statements, and audits the records and examines the personal property of a sampling of businesses.
Other duties of the Assessing Office include administering the rescission and granting of homesteads, processing of divisions of land, maintaining digital mapping (GIS) of property lines and the write up of legal descriptions, reviewing and processing exemption applications, calculating payments in lieu of taxes, establishing special assessment districts and apportioning the special assessment within that special assessment district, defending assessed and taxable values before the Michigan Tax Tribunal and assisting other departments and divisions within the city with valuation, real estate and property.
Property Assessment Appeal Process
The State of Michigan established the appeal process to assure that the property tax system would function in an equitable fashion. It is the taxpayers right to take advantage of this process.
What is a valid basis for appeal?
Claiming that your property taxes are too high and continue to go up is not a valid basis for appeal. (Remember that the Taxable Value may increase each year based on the Inflation Rate Multiplier or 1.05 whichever is less). To actually see a reduction in taxes, the Assessed Value (SEV) or Capped Value must decrease to less than the level of your current Taxable Value.
To have a good basis for appeal you need to provide evidence which indicates the Assessed Value is in excess of 50% of True Cash Value. This requires some research and fact finding on your part. Is the value of your property comparable to the sale price of similar properties that sold in your area? Is the information on which the Assessor based the appraisal correct? If you wish to check the accuracy, you need to visit the Assessor’s Office to review your property record card.
A number of factors are considered when appraising a property to estimate its value. Some of these factors are age, size, quality and type of construction, lot size, finished attics and basements, the neighborhood where the property is located, and the selling price of similar properties in that area.
If you recently purchased your home for less than the value placed on it by the Assessor, you need to check to see if other homes in your area also sold for less than twice the Assessed Value (SEV). This may indicate that the market value is lower than the value established by the Assessor. Information on sale prices of homes is available in the Assessor’s Office.
If there is a problem with the property such as a leaking basement, it should be brought to the attention of the Assessor’s Office. A quote for the cost of repair should also be provided.
A professional appraisal of your property can be valuable if you file an appeal; however, unless substantial tax savings result from the appeal, the cost of the appraisal might be more than your tax savings.
How do I appeal my property value?
The Ann Arbor City Board of Review meets starting on Monday of the third week of March for a period of 4 days, and it is during this period that you must appeal your property value. Members of the Board of Review are citizens appointed by the Mayor, with Council approval, and are not employees of the City of Ann Arbor.
Notices of Assessment and Taxable Value are mailed to property owners approximately the first week of March each year. Read your notice carefully and if you have questions be sure to contact the Assessor’s Office. Appearances before the Board are by appointment and the appropriate appeal forms will be provided to you upon request.
You will receive notification of the Board’s decision regarding your appeal a few weeks after the Board adjourns. This notification also provides you with information for further appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) if you are not satisfied with the Board’s decision. You must file your appeal with the MTT by July 31st for residential property or by May 31st for commericial real property, industrial real property and business personal property.
Residential properties are required to first protest before the local board or review in order to appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
Additional information regarding the Michigan Tax Tribunal may be obtained from
Michigan Tax Tribunal website.
Board of Review Schedule
The Board of Review meets in March of each year to consider and hear Assessment and Taxable appeals, and poverty exemption appeals for the current year. Principal Residence Exemption (Homestead) appeals are not handled in March. The March meetings are always the 3rd week of the month starting on Monday for a period of 4 days. Click here to view dates & times for March meetings. 2019 Public Notice.pdf
Property Transfer Affidavit
If you record any instrument of conveyance at the County Register of Deeds you are required by law to file a Property Transfer Affidavit within 45 days with the Assessor's Office. If you fail to file a Property Transfer Affidavit you may be fined in accordance with Michigan Law 211.27a and 211.27b.
Although the Board of Review also meets in July and December, it can only consider "clerical errors", "mutual mistake of fact", and poverty exemption appeals that were not presented at the March Board of Review meeting. Additionally, Homestead Property Exemptions are also decided at these meetings. The July meeting is always the Tuesday following the 3rd Monday and the December meeting is always the Tuesday following the 2nd Monday.