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The  tax bills will soon be sent out.  If you need to make any changes to your mailing address, contact Mindy at #616-846-2210.  Please note that ownership or name changes can only be processed with a legally recorded document, such as a deed.  We do receive copies of all recorded documents and update our records accordingly.  Occasionally, transfer documents do not get recorded with the Ottawa County Register of Deeds office so we need your assistance in letting us know when a tax bill or assessment notice is incorrect.
You may have noticed the initials PRE on your tax bill.  PRE stands for Principal Residence Exemption which is the new name for the Homestead Exemption.  This name change became effective on January 1, 2004.  If you own and occupy your home as your principal residence than you are eligible to receive an exemption from 18.0 mills of school taxes.  If your PRE shows 100% then you are recieving the exemption and a 0% indicates that you are not getting the exemption.  If you are receiving the exemption because you are farming the property, there will be a notation of Qualified Ag. with the appropriate percent.
When you buy and sell property, you must be sure to rescind the PRE at the home you are moving out of and file a new PRE for the home that you have moved into.  The PRE is filed in the township/city/village that the property is located in.  Most title company's will automatically take care of this paperwork for you at your closing.  We have the forms available for you at the township or you can download them from the following websites: 
Affidavit for Principal Residence Exemption:
Claim for Farmland Exemption from Some School Operating Taxes:

Request to Rescind/Withdraw a Principal Residence Exemption:





The Assessor’s Office is glad to share, as many of you already know, that our real estate market has improved in the last several months. Sales activity and new construction in our area definitely reflect this trend. I will spend the next several weeks visiting work sites and finished construction projects in order to complete appraisal reviews of the Township’s building permits – taking pictures, measuring buildings, and speaking with property owners. The job of the Assessor’s Office is to determine the value of every property in the Township as of “Tax Day,” December 31st, for the upcoming years assessments. This includes the obvious new house construction reviews, as well as building additions, pole barns, basement finishes, remodeling projects, demolition of structures, and any other work taking place that might affect the value of a property.

My annual appraisal reviews are important for many reasons. The first, and obvious reason, is that taxes in Michigan are assessed on an “ad valorem” basis, or “based on value.” The more valuable a property is, the higher the taxes will be. In order to be fair and equitable, my appraisal information must be current and accurate.

Another important reason for having accurate appraisal data is for our annual study of the real estate market. The County Equalization Office oversees all local unit Assessing Offices. In our case, Ottawa County Equalization reviews the work of 23 local units. Each year, they look at all of the sales activity in our township and do a comparison between the assessed values and the respective sale price of the properties that have been sold. In Michigan, our total assessments for a given class of property (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc.) must be at 50% of market value. If the class average is higher or lower than this, the local Assessor must make adjustments to the properties in that class to get the average “equalized” back to 50%. For Robinson Township, our two year study of the market shows an increase for residential properties. Of our 2,676 residential properties, we had 137 sales. This year’s proposed average ratio of assessment to sales price of these 215 sales was 47.73. This indicates that our residential assessments need to be raised by 4.75% (50.00 / 47.73 = 1.0475) in order to get them back up to a ratio of 50.0 for 2014. It is my job to spread this increase amongst our various neighborhoods throughout the township.

So what do the Assessor’s property visits have to do with the annual study of the market? The Assessor’s review of new construction provides valid individual property appraisals for that taxpayer’s assessment. In addition, when that property sells in the future, our annual market study will be more accurate. Our visits ensure that our assessments reflect good “apples to apples” comparisons between what we are appraising and what has sold.