Appointed by the City Council, the Assessor is responsible for the listing and inventory of the individual properties in the city. The Assessor shall estimate, according to his best information and judgment, the true cash value and assessed value of every parcel of taxable property. The assessments are placed in the assessment roll and completed by the first Monday in March for the property to be taxed.

The Assessor does not create value. Value is created by the economic forces in the market of buyers and sellers. The Assessor studies transactions of the market and appraises all property in accordance with state law and State Tax Commission guidelines. The Assessing Department also keeps track of ownership changes, maintains maps of parcel boundaries, maintains legal descriptions for all land, and prepares sketches of all buildings and summarizes their characteristics. Other responsibilities of the Assessor include administrating the Principal Residence Exemption Program.

Annually, approximately fourteen days before the first meeting of the local Board of Review, the Assessor shall give each owner listed in the assessment roll a notice by first class mail of the increase in assessed or taxable value for the year. This notice will specify the time and place of the meeting of the local Board of Review.

Proposal A

Enacted in 1994, Proposal A saw changes how local government calculates property taxes. One of the changes was the inception of taxable value. Taxable value is the value on which your millage rate is calculated for the tax bill. If there are not any physical additions (buildings etc.) or a transfer of ownership on the property, this value increases annually at the Consumer Price Index given by the State of Michigan. The Consumer Price Index cannot exceed 5% in any given year.

This proposal had no change on the law on calculating assessed value. The assessed value remains at 50% of "cash value" basically means the usual selling price, a price a willing buyer and willing seller agrees on.

If a property owner disagrees with the Assessor, they may appeal the assessed value, the taxable value or property classification to the local Board of Review in March. The Board of Review will render its decision and the owner may appeal that decision to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.