Appeal Tax Assessment Maryland Letter by jkw93645


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									  HOw tO effectIveLy aPPeaL yOUR
  property assessment
  wInteR 2009

  State Representative Dave HilDenbranD House District 86

                                       Dear Homeowner,
                                       As you review your 2009 property tax assessments, I wanted to
   86th House District                 provide you information on the appeals process and my work in

                                       Lansing to bring common-sense reforms.
                                       Homeowners who believe their assessments are inaccurate, have
                                       the right to appeal their assessments to their local board of review
                                       in March. (Please contact your local assessor for meeting time and
        AdA TownshIp                   location.) This newsletter is a step-by-step guide to help you review
Debbie Rashid, 616.676.9191 ext. 26    your assessment, ensure it's accuracy, and assist you through the
                                       appeals process.
      Bowne TownshIp
                                       While the market value of your home may have gone down, current
  Dennis McKelvey, 616.868.6846        law allows your home's taxable value to increase. Your home's
                                       taxable value can be increased by the rate of inflation or five percent,
     GRAnd RApIds (City)               whichever is lower.
   Glen Beekman, 616.456.3081
                                       As you will read about more inside, I am working to make common-
                                       sense reforms to change this unfair law. It is my belief that when
  GRAnd RApIds TownshIp                property values decrease, property taxes should be prevented from
Robin Rothley, 616.361.7391 ext. 224   increasing. I will continue to support reforms in Lansing to protect
                                       Michigan homeowners.
     GRATTAn TownshIp
                                       Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions
  Matt frain, 616.691.8450 ext. 15     or concerns. It is my privilege to serve as your State Representative.
          LoweLL (City)                Sincerely,
    James Marfia, 616.897.8457

      LoweLL TownshIp
   Debbie Rashid, 616.897.7600
                                       State Representative
   VeRGennes TownshIp                  Dave HilDenbranD
   Debbie Rashid, 616.897.5671         House District 86
                                       office 517.373.0846
          wALkeR (City)                toll-free 1.877.Dave.086
     Kelly Gibbs, 616.791.6862         e-mail
coMMon sense                                                          HOw tO effectIveLy aPPeaL
RefoRM To                                                           oBTAIn A copY of YouR pRopeRTY
                                                           step 1
pRopeRTY TAxes                                                      TAx woRksheeT oR AppRAIsAL
the collapse of the national housing market                           this is available from the local assessor’s office.
along with Michigan’s struggling economy has                          the worksheet lists information such as size
created a situation where Michigan homeowners                         of house, style, number of baths, etc. ask the
are facing higher property taxes while the value                      assessing department to fully explain how to read
of their home declines. as your voice in Lansing,                     the document.
Representative Hildenbrand will continue his                          you may also obtain worksheets for similar
fight against this unfair practice.                                   properties which recently sold in the area to help
Rep. Hildenbrand recently supported legislation                       determine the value of your property.
that would prohibit property taxes from rising
when the value of your home drops. “this is one
of the worst housing markets in the history of the         step 2   cARefuLLY check The
state,” said Represenative Dave Hildenbrand.                        woRksheeT foR eRRoRs.
“Property tax relief is essential to help keep                        If you notice any errors, the assessor may agree to
families in their homes.”                                             change some of the information or figures at that
                                                                      time. If not, you will have to make your case with
Representative Hildenbrand will continue to fight
                                                                      the board of review.
to reform and reduce the overall tax burden on
our Michigan homeowners. “Michigan residents                          your worksheet may include a “percent good”
deserve a long-term, comprehensive solution.                          calculation which shows how much your home has
                                                                      depreciated. for example, a 10-year-old house
I will continue to work with my colleagues on
                                                                      may be listed as 90 percent good. Percent good is
both sides of the aisle to not just reduce property                   another factor to use when comparing your home
taxes but to also protect home values and                             to other homes (see Step 4).
fight against predatory lending practices,” said
                                                           step 3   MAke suRe YouR TAxABLe VALue
                                                                    hAs noT IncReAsed BY MoRe ThAn
                                                                    4.4 peRcenT.
Key Definitions                                                       If you did not make any improvements to your
                                                                      home in 2008, your home’s taxable value may
TRue cAsh VALue (TcV)                                                 not increase by more than 4.4 percent. taxable
                                                                      value should not be confused with state equalized
The actual value of your home, as determined by the
                                                                      value, which always equals 50 percent of your
local assessor.
                                                                      property’s true cash value.

sTATe equALIzed VALue (seV)
50 percent of the actual value of your home.
                                                           step 4   InspecT The InsIde of YouR
TAxABLe VALue                                                         as noted in Step 2, the “percent good” is the
The capped value of your home. By law, increases in                   way an assessor depreciates the value of a
your taxable value that are not due to improvements                   home based on its age, meaning normal issues
are limited to whichever is lower: the rate of inflation              common to older homes are not considered in the
or 5 percent. Taxable value cannot exceed SEV.                        specifics of the assessment. However, problems
                                                                      not associated with general aging, such a cracked
BoARd of ReVIew                                                       foundation or wall construction problems, should
A panel of local citizens appointed to review, correct                be specifically addressed in your appeal.
and approve the assessment roll.                                      written repair estimates and photographs of
                                                                      structural damage are good evidence of defects
AssessoR’s offIce                                                     which could affect property value.
The department within the local unit of government
that establishes and adjusts assessments for every
parcel of property in your community.
yOUR property assessment

   step 5   noTe chAnGes To YouR
                                                                        sample appeal letter

            neIGhBoRhood.                                                Date
              Realtors say location is the single most important         name, address, telephone
              feature in determining the value of your home. If you
              live near a major road or in a mixed-use zoning area,
                                                                         to the board of review/tax tribunal
              for example, your home may be less desirable than          I wish to appeal my property tax assessment for
              the same home in a purely residential neighborhood.        the following reasons:
              If the characteristics of your neighborhood have           1. according to my worksheet/Property Record,
              changed, obtain copies of citizen complaints about            I have noted the following discrepancies:
              excessive noise or eyesores and show this evidence              a. I do not have a fireplace as indicated.
              to the board.                                                      estimated value ............................. $1,800
                                                                              B. I do not have a tile bath as indicated.
   step 6   If You RecenTLY puRchAsed oR                                          estimated value ............................. $1,200
            RefInAnced YouR hoMe, deTeRMIne                                   c. according to my worksheet, I have 1,500
            wheTheR YouR puRchAse pRIce oR                                       square feet of living space. I have 1,000
                                                                                 square feet.
            YouR AppRAIsAL Is LoweR ThAn YouR                                    Reduced value .............................. $6,920
            AssessMenT.                                                  This amount should be deducted from
              Providing this documentation to the board of review        true cash value .......................................... $9,920
              does not guarantee a lower assessment, but it will help
              strengthen your case.                                      2. I have noted the following structural defects
                                                                            on my property. they reduce the value of the

   step 7   InfoRM YouR AssessoR ABouT                                      property by the following amounts.
            peRsonAL pRopeRTY IncLuded In                                    a. cracked foundation ....................... $3,800

            The sALe pRIce of YouR hoMe.                                     B. cracked exterior wall ...................... $2,200

              One of the most common mistakes home buyers can            This amount should be deducted from
              make is to fail to inform the assessor of personal         true cash value .......................................... $6,000
              property and other valuable items included in the sale.
              Personal property items often included in a home’s sale    3. I live in an area that has mixed zoning and next
              price, such as furniture, curtains, a washer or dryer,        door there is a new junkyard which emits loud
              etc., are exempt from assessment.                             noises and noxious odors. this affects the value
              If you did not inform your assessor in writing about          of my property. I feel my true cash value has
              these items, your assessment may erroneously include          been reduced by ................................. $3,000
              this value.                                                3a. Grand Total, add 1, 2, and 3 above.. $18,920

            coMpARe YouR pRopeRTY To sIMILAR                             4. I wish to make the following comparisons:
   step 8                                                                    231 Main Street, assessed value ___________
            hoMes In The AReA, especIALLY                                    (List all comparables and ask for an average
            Those ThAT RecenTLY soLd.                                        reduction. also add all items you noted as
              comparable property assessments are one of the most            discrepancies)
              important tools when appealing your property tax              example:
              assessment. If comparable properties are assessed lower       True cash Value ............................. $60,000
              than yours, your home may be over-assessed. check the         Minus discrepancy/Grand Total....... $18,920
              assessed value, type of house and zoning.                     new True cash Value ..................... $41,080
              compare the true cash value per square foot. Keep in          one half = Assessed Value (seV) ... $20,540
              mind that comparisons should only be made between
              similar types of homes (compare two stories with two       note: This sample letter indicates many of the
              stories, ranch houses with other ranch houses).            grounds for a reduced assessment. It is very unlikely
                                                                         that an assessment could be reduced by nearly
            puT ALL YouR InfoRMATIon                                     one-third, as illustrated here, but every reduction is
   step 9                                                                important.
            InTo LeTTeR foRM.
              See sample appeal letter to the right.
                                                                                                                             PRSRt StD
             State RePReSentatIve                                                                                          U.S. POStaGe

             Dave HilDenbranD                                                                                                  PaID
                                                                                                                             LanSInG, MI
                                                                                                                           PeRMIt nO. 1200
             P Box 30014 | Lansing, MI 48909-7514

HOw tO effectIveLy aPPeaL yOUR
property assessment
wInteR 2009

                                                                     State Representative
                                          Dave HilDenbranD

                                  Bring a presentation copy for yourself and each member of the board of
                                  review. Read your presentation to the board. You may only have five minutes,
                                  so make your points, show photographs and above all, remain professional.

                            not satisfieD?
                                  If you are not satisfied with the decision of your local board of review,
                                  you may continue your appeal.
                                  In order to appeal the decision, you must send a letter or formal petition to the Michigan tax tribunal,
                                  P Box 30232, Lansing, MI 48909. Please contact the Michigan tax tribunal for the deadline for your
                                  petition. Petition forms are available on the tax tribunal’s website ( If you
                                  send a letter, the tribunal will mail you the necessary forms to fill out. you should contact the tribunal
                                  at 517.373.3003 for additional information regarding letter and petition requirements.

4 You must appeal to your local board of review before you can contest your case to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. 3

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