The Department of Assessment is responsible for estimating the market value of your property for tax purposes. This is accomplished through discovering, identifying, and classifying all taxable property in the city.
In order to determine the value of any piece of property, the Department of Assessment must first gather all pertinent information. This process involves reviewing the physical description of the property and/or improvement, real estate sales, construction costs, rental incomes, operating expenses, interest rates, and any other factors that may affect value.
The Department of Assessment analyzes that type of data to establish the market value for each property.
Market Value Definition
The market value of your property is simply the probable price that it would sell for in an arm's length transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller. In the State of Michigan, market value is defined as "true cash value". This is the established valuation process due to market value fluctuations that occur from one year to the next.
Every assessor is required by state law to assess at 50% of true cash value of all assessable property as of December 31 each year. This includes homes, factories, commercial properties, vacant land, and personal property (machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, signs, etc for commercial and industrial properties).
The passage of Proposal A in March of 1994 created three different values for each property: assessed value, capped value, and taxable value. Property taxes are calculated using the taxable value. The Department of Assessment is still required to estimate the market value of every property and record 50% as the assessed value as described above.
In addition, the assessor is required to calculate the capped value. The capped value is the previous year's taxable value multiplied by the rate of inflation (CPI) or 5% whichever is less (plus any new or loss). The taxable value is the lesser of the assessed or capped values. In most cases, the property's taxable value will not increase more than the CPI.
This capping process continues annually until ownership is transferred. When a transfer of ownership occurs, the following year's taxable value will be based on the property's assessed value (uncapped).
After calculating the assessed value, the capped value, and the taxable value, the Department of Assessment notifies the property owner by mailing a change of assessment notice. This typically occurs in mid-February of each year. At this point, the assessment function is not complete. The assessment is subject to review.
Board of Review Petition
The Board of Review is a distinct entity that meets annually each March to hear property appeals at the local level. It is comprised of three taxpayers of the City of Romulus. The Board of Review functions in many ways like a court although its procedures are less formal. Similar to the court, the Board of Review has the authority to decide on certain issues based on evidence. For more information on the Board of Review and assessment appeals, please call the Department of Assessment at 734-942-7520.
Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits
In addition to determining the values for all assessable properties in Romulus, the Department of Assessment also collects Property Transfer Affidavits and Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits.
Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits must be filed with our office in order for the homeowner to receive an exemption from some of the school operating taxes on their principal residence.
Land Division & Combination Applications
The Department of Assessment processes Land Division and Combination Applications.
When an address needs to be assigned to a property, an Address Application New Assignment Form must be filled out and filed in the Department of Assessment. The number is assigned by the Department of Assessment.
When the mailing address of the record needs to be updated, please complete the Address Change Form and submit it to the Department of Assessment.
Appraisal Card Descriptors
Specific information regarding property dimensions, descriptions, and other pertinent data are available via Appraisal Cards at the Department of Assessment. Appraisal cards are available to the public during normal business hours. Cards include such statistics as:
- Assessed and taxable values
- Building improvements
- Legal descriptions
- Lot dimensions
- Sales data (date of sale and price)
- Square footage
- Tax maps
- Year built