Property Assessments and Board of Review
Assessment Change Notices
Annual Assessment Change Notices will be mailed to Portage residential property owners no later than Monday, February 12, 2018. Property owners are encouraged to review the notice for important information pertaining to changes in the assessed and taxable values from 2017 to 2018, the status of Principal Residence and whether the property’s taxable value was “uncapped” as a result of an ownership transfer.
Property owners are encouraged to meet with staff from the Office of the City Assessor to address questions or concerns. Many issues can be addressed by assessing staff without the necessity of appearing before the March Board of Review. Certain questions regarding assessment change notices and property assessments can be answered over the phone, while others may be best answered during an informal in-person review conducted by assessing staff. Property owners who wish to discuss their property valuation with assessing staff may contact the Office of the City Assessor at 329-4433. The City Assessor cannot make any changes to 2018 property valuations after the 2018 Assessment Roll has been turned over to the Board of Review.
Board of Review
The City of Portage Board of Review, appointed by the City Council, is responsible for hearing property tax valuation appeals from Portage property owners. If you believe your property valuation is inaccurate, and assessing staff were not able to address your concerns over the phone or during an informal meeting, you may appear before the March Board of Review to appeal the valuation. The Board of Review will hold its organizational meeting on Monday, March 12 at 9 a.m. Beginning March 1, 2018, appointments for appeals can be made for the following dates by contacting the Office of the City Assessor at 329-4433.
- Tuesday, March 13 12 noon - 5 p.m. 6 - 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 14 12 noon - 5 p.m. 6 - 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 15 9 a.m. - 12 noon 1 - 4 p.m.
The Board of Review will hold its final meeting on Tuesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. to finalize the roll.
Letters of Appeal
Appeals may also be made by signed letters submitted to the Office of the City Assessor (Portage City Hall, 7900 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002) no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Form L-4035, Petition to Board of Review (PDF) must be completed and attached to a submitted letter appeal.
Issues that can be brought before the Board of Review include property valuation (SEV), assessment roll classification changes, veterans’ exemption and Property Tax Poverty Exemption requests (see related article to the right). Taxable value is generally not appealable at the March Board of Review as this type of change is entirely a result of Proposal A. Taxable value change is limited by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as determined by the State Tax Commission, unless there has been new construction or an uncapping event (transfer of ownership). For 2018 the CPI is 1.021, meaning that unless new construction has taken place or physical improvements have been made to the property or the assessed and taxable values are not the same amount, the taxable value may increase by 2.1%
Under Michigan law, the selling price of a property is not the presumptive True Cash Value. In other words, the actual selling price is not what the City Assessor or Board of Review determines the assessed value to be. Selling price is only one measure of the value for the Board of Review to consider.
Property owners who choose to meet with assessing staff or appear before the Board of Review should provide appropriate support for a particular position, such as documentation of recent sales of similar homes in the neighborhood, current appraisals of the home, receipts or invoices for recent construction activity, photographs of property damage or deterioration and any additional information relevant to the assessment of the property. The Office of the City Assessor will provide evidence that would be used to support the valuation placed on the assessment roll or may be utilized as part of the Assessor’s review process to make necessary adjustments where the taxpayer and City Assessor are in agreement. The property owner will still have the opportunity to appeal to the Board of Review if not satisfied with the results of the Assessor’s review process.