Leelanau County Property Taxes

You can now access estimates on property taxes for your local area and school districts.

Understanding Michigan Property Taxes

Property owners can calculate their tax bill by multiplying that taxable value by the tax rate. In Michigan, the property tax rate is called a millage, and it is figured in mills. A mill equals $1 in taxation for every $1,000 in taxable value. A parcel may have several millages in its tax rate. There is likely to be a millage to operate local government, and another for the county. Part of the millage rate may include mills for libraries, police and fire or schools.

Fighting Your Tax Bill

So you opened the latest tax assessment notice from your local assessor and were shocked to see the assessed value was much more than you thought the value would be. Remember in Michigan the taxable value, is 50% of the value the local assessors office has estimated for your property. The first thing to do is check the statement for errors. Verify the address. Check the property's classification. For example, you may own a home but you have been classified as commercial. The second step is to request a full property description from your local assessor or real estate agent. This will show you the assessor's remarks about your property. For example, there may be errors stating things like "you have four bedrooms" when you really only have three. Chances are pretty high that your assessor has never seen the inside of your home. Facts like this should be checked every few years for accuracy.

After verifying all information is correct you need to determine the "fair market value" of your home. Fair market value is based on what your home would sell for on the open market within 30 days or less. Your local real estate agent or appraisor can help you determine the value.

By accessing public records at your local courthouse you can find comparable sales to use as evidence during your appeal with the appeals board in your area.

Most areas hold appeal hearings the first week of March, so know your local appeal boards guidelines and procedures. It is best to be prepared. Going at it alone can be accomplished or let us help you to ensure that you are paying your fair share of Michigan Property Tax.

Step 1 - File with the board of review Form L-4035
Step 2 - Appeal in person if at all possible (you only get a small window each year and will need to set that up in February. Don't miss it)
Step 3- Collect as much information as possible, you must make your case but at the same time be objective. Bring the following with you to your appeal:

  • your property record card highlighting errors or omissions.
  • a CMA (comparative market analysis) from your local Real Estate Agent, it should be free to you.
  • an appraisal if done within the last year.
  • HUD -1 settlement statement if you purchase in the last year, you got this with your closing documents.
  • pictures if your home is a little beat up with deferred maintenance.
  • examples of recent external obsolescence which can impact your property value since you bought it.