Sunday, January 28, 2007

An Appealing Year

If you are thinking about selling your home anytime soon, this is definitely the year to appeal your property tax assessment. The housing market across the state is tanking. Foreclosures are up for nonpayment of mortgages. They are also up for non payment of taxes. Since the State has changed the rules to allow foreclosure after two years of nonpayment of taxes, many people have lost their lifetime investment due to job loss or wage cuts. This is a buyer’s market. Home prices are dropping so they can be sold and be affordable. Tax increases are expected to be requested at all levels of government. (The worst solution possible)
Many people chose to ignore their right to appeal their SEV, which should be half of the true cash value, because they are being taxed at the Taxable Value which was capped with the passage of Proposal A in 1994. This limited the taxable value increases to the rate of inflation or 5% which ever is less. If you have been living in your home since Proposal A passed, you are likely paying more than 35% less in taxes than someone who just purchased a similar home. Remember, the assessment cap is removed when the property changes ownership. New owners are stuck paying taxes based on the State Equalized Value.
Don’t forget, if you live in the city of Detroit, you must first appeal to the Board of Assessors before mid February to appeal to the Board of Review in March. Everyone else should call their city or township and inquire when their Board of Review will be meeting. Make sure you do the work necessary to make a successful appeal. You should be able to get sales that have occurred in your area from a local real estate office or the city assessor. You should also be able to see the SEV of other houses in your area and the worksheet they keep on your home to insure accuracy of information.
If you need information on how to appeal you can contact us by phone, mail (include your phone number) or online.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The State $800 Million budget deficit is no surprise to Granholm. Check the Detroit News archives from about 9/04 when Granholm signed a 3 year contract renewal with the State employees to give them a 3% ANNUAL salary increase. The Detroit News projected that this would cause an $800 million hole in the State budget in 3 years (ta da, here we are!). Maybe Granholm should ask the State employees to give back some of this hefty increase. It still astounds me that she gave this large increase at a time when many Michigan citizens are losing their jobs, losing their homes to foreclosures or having to seriously cut back family budgets due to hard times. Maybe it is time that Granholm starts running the State for the benefit of the citizens, not well paid government employees. While she is at it she should also look at the salary increases that were given to the State university employees during the recent years. A "giveback" from the State employees and university employees would go a long ways to fix the budget hole.

The State employee payroll is about $4.5 billion. If Granholm had only given a 1.5% annual salary increase, she would have saved the State roughly $60 million in year 1, $120 million in year 2 and $180 million in year 3. This numbers analysis should be run on the university employees’ payroll to see what kind of dollars could be saved.

Here’s an idea: While don’t the politicians bet all future salary increases for the State employees and university employees based on the number of new jobs that are created each year in Michigan and how much the State unemployment rate is reduced. Maybe the politicians would finally get around to enacting laws that create jobs and not kill jobs (tort reform, right to work laws, etc.). Maybe the academic elites would finally be forced to join the real world.