CSZ Services

Assessing, Reappraisal & GIS

Why did my taxes increase?

Michigan State law grants a homestead exemption from local school operating taxes for homesteads and qualified agricultural properties. Currently, this is a reduction of 18 mills of school tax.

To qualify, you must own the property and occupy it as your legal, primary residence. The deadline to qualify for any given year is June 1 or November 1 of that year, based on when the school district levies the operating mileage. Buyers who close and/or occupy the residence after deadlines may be eligible for exemption the following year.

If this is your first homestead application or you are buying a property that was not previously homesteaded, you can use the Affidavit for Homestead Exemption (2368)

If you stop using your exempt property as your principal residence, but are not selling it, you are required to file a Request to Rescind Homestead Exemption (2602).  This form must be filed within 90 days of the change. The exemption remains in effect through December 31 of that year.

Tax bills are calculated based on taxable value instead of state equalized value. As part of proposal A, beginning in 1995, taxable value increases by the Consumer Price Index or 5%, whichever is less.

Taxable Value is a calculation:

Taxable Value = (Prior Year's Taxable Value - Losses) x Consumer Price Index (CPI) + Additions (i.e. new construction and/or omitted property improvements)

Can taxable value increase more than the rate of inflation?

Yes, if:

  • A sale/title transfer occurs. The year following the sale and/or title transfer, the property becomes "uncapped", making the State Equalized Value (SEV) and taxable value (TV) the same. Michigan law states the actual sale price must not be the sole basis for the new SEV for that property.
  • New construction to a property is added to the taxable value

What is Taxable Value?

You have received a postcard because CSZ Services has been hired by your City or Township as an Assessor. An employee of CSZ Services will verify data that is kept on your record card. This information includes building sketches, building and property conditions, and photographs of all properties.

The field technician will NOT enter any buildings on your property.

Why did I get a postcard in the mail?

The Assessor is the government official responsible for establishing the value of property for tax purposes. All property within the city or township is valued each year as to its status on December 31. The City or Township Assessor is responsible for evaluating your property's value and the City or Township Treasurer is responsible for collecting your taxes.

What is an Assessor?

Information for Property Owners

If you need to find your property lines, you should contact a local surveyor to perform this service. We can provide you your record card which includes your lot size, but we cannot survey or locate stakes on your property.

If you are looking for a subdivision plat, check out this site.

How can I find my property lines?

What is the homestead exemption?

An affidavit must be filed whenever title of real estate or buildings on leased land is transferred. Assessors use the affidavit to make sure that property is assessed properly and receives the correct taxable value.

This document can be obtained from the closing agent (i.e. title office, financial institution or attorney) or you can download the form here . This affidavit must be filed even if you are not recording a deed. Please file this completed form with your local assessor within 45 days of the transfer.

Some transfers are exempt, including changes in ownership solely to exclude or include a spouse, transferring a property into a trust where the sole beneficiary is the creator of the trust or that person's spouse, redemption from a tax sale, or transfer to effect a foreclosure.  The back of the affidavit includes instructions as well as outlines the transactions that require and do not require the use of the form.

What is a property transfer affidavit?

Assessed value changes vary according to the individual characteristics of houses in relation to sales in your area. Building style, size and amenities (i.e. porches, decks, garages, extra bathrooms, etc). The current sales information for your neighborhood may show no value increase over last year's value. However, the taxable value is tied to the Consumer Price Index (see calculation above) and is calculated annually causing an increase in your taxable value.

My assessed value didn't change, but my taxable value increased. Why?

It was most likely us. All CSZ employees carry a form of identification with them while they are in your neighborhood. We are currently trying to update our records, which are kept at the city or township office. The State of Michigan recommends we have a picture of all properties.

Someone was at my house and/or


How is assessed value calculated?

All assessed values are calculated according to the State Tax Commission standards. This value is shown as the State Equalized Value or SEV on your tax statement. It is a mass appraisal technique that takes into account the current cost to replicate your house and then depreciates that cost based on the age of the structure. It is then adjusted to market value by comparing the depreciated cost of homes that have sold in your area to their sales price. Each year, assessors are required, by law, to analyze sales by economic neighborhood using a two year sales study to adjust that neighborhood so that assessed values are at 50% of market value.

Why isn't the assessed value half of what I purchased it for?

The assessed value is half of its market value, not its purchase price.

There are a few components that could raise taxes:

1.) An increase in millage. Periodically, voters have an opportunity to renew or approve increases to tax rates at special elections. If voters approve additional millage, your taxes will increase.

 (2) Your property's taxable value. The Taxable Value of a property is adjusted each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and other factors. An increase in taxable value will result in an increase of your taxes.

(3) Your taxable value could be adjusted based upon new construction or omitted items were added.

(4) You purchased a new home. Proposal A, which passed in 1994, places an annual cap on the growth of property tax assessments; but when the home is sold, the cap comes off and the assessment reverts to the State Equalized Value (SEV).

Interested in estimating your property taxes? Use this link