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No, Equalization is not the assessor. The equalization process is part of the larger assessment process in the State of Michigan. A system of equalization is mandated by Article IX.3 of the State Constitution of Michigan and is further elaborated in MCL 211.34. Its purpose is to guarantee uniformity and equity across classes of property in counties (County Equalization) and in the state as a whole (State Equalization).
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As part of our annual Equalization Studies, our appraisers visit a number of parcels throughout Eaton County. The appraiser will measure the exteriors of the structures on the property and inventory their quality and characteristics. This is done in order to estimate market value, also called True Cash Value (TCV). If the property owner is not home, the appraiser will leave a County Door Hanger for future contact.
The Land Division Ace, ACT 288 of 1967, spells out the requirements for dividing land, both platted and unplatted, in the State of Michigan. Any proposed division must meet the requirements of the Act, and it may also be subject to additional local restrictions. For this reason, all applications to divide land must be submitted to the local township or city for approval. Once approved, Property Description will generate a new tax description (an abbreviated form of a legal description for purposes of assessment and taxation) and depict the child parcels on the map. As a result of its involvement in the land division process, Property Description has accumulated a limited archive of historical surveys, copies of which the public may obtain for a fee. You can find the Land Division Approval Process forms in our list of documents.
The goal of Equalization's appraisal or sales studies is not to modify individual properties' assessments; rather, it is the function of the local Assessor to annually establish assessed and taxable values on an individual bases. The scale of Equalization is greater. Any potential impact of Equalization would affect an entire classification of property in a local unit (for example, all commercial property in Delta Twp or all Agricultural properties in Benton Twp). The value that is calculated for your property will be analyzed as part of an aggregate along with other properties.
Property Transfer Affidavits (Form 2766), Affidavits Attesting Qualified Agricultural Property (Form 3676), and Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits (Form 2368) must be submitted to your local assessor.
An Equalization Study is designed to determine how closely assessed values within a classification are related to True Cash Value. It is a forward-looking comparison to the current year's assessed value. In the forward-looking comparison to the current year's assessed value. In the State of Michigan, as mandated by the constitution, property is to be assessed at 50% of True Cash Value. The results of an Equalization Study may determine that, for example, Industrial property in Delta is being assessed at only 48.71% of True Cash Value going into the next assessment cycle. Whether the ratio falls above or below 50% will determine the direction in which assessments in the local classification need to move as compared to the local assessor's independent analysis.
Appraisal studies are only conducted for property classifications in which there were an insufficient number of verified sales, and this scenario most usually applies when there are fewer parcels in any particular classification. Sample parcels within an appraisal study are chosen at random.