Frequently Asked Questions
For information on property taxes check out the Treasurer's FAQs.
For information on recording a document or searching recorded documents check out the Register of Deeds page.
Equalization FAQs and 'How do I?':
Note: Try using 'Ctrl+F' to find a key word in one of our questions. This will only search the questions and not the answers, unless they are open.
How do I find out information about a parcel?
Click here to search our online records. If the information you are looking for isn’t available, please contact us at 231-547-7230.
Assessed Values: The current year’s assessed values are not available from the Equalization Department until sometime in May. Prior to this you may contact the unit’s assessor and they may be able to provide you with the tentative value.
Taxes: Delinquent taxes can be obtained from the County Treasurer’s office by calling 231-547-7202, or online for a fee through BS&A (ADD HYPERLINK & MAY NEED REVISING). Current year taxes can be obtained by contacting the township/city treasurer (See page 3 of the linked document).
How do I read Parcel Identification Number (PIN)?
A Charlevoix county parcel identification number (PIN) will be in the following format 000-000-000-00, sometimes this is preceded by the county code '15-'. Each group of numbers tells you something about the parcel. Click here for an in depth explanation of what the numbers in each section mean.
How do I request an address be assigned to a parcel?
Addresses are associated with the structures located on a property. An address can be assigned to a structure once the location of the driveway accessing the structure has been determined. Please contact us at 231-547-7230. In order to process a request we will need to have a site plan submitted showing the location of the driveway & proposed structure.
How do I change the address my tax bills & assessment notices go to?
How do I change the name of the owner of a parcel?
The Equalization Department ownership records reflect property ownership as it is established in the recorded documents at the Register of Deeds. To change the owner of record, a document (usually a deed) will need to be recorded transferring the ownership from the current owner to the new owner.
Some unique situations:
Transfer pursuant to a divorce: Record a copy of the judgment of divorce.
Change of name due to marriage: Provide the Equalization Department with a copy of the marriage license. The new name will be added and the previous name will remain in brackets. To remove previous name entirely please record a deed transferring ownership to the new name.
Result of a death: Provide a signed request to remove the deceased person’s name from title to the Equalization Department along with a copy of the death certificate. If a copy has already been recorded at the Register of Deeds, it is not necessary to provide another copy. If property ownership is held as husband and wife or as joint tenants with rights of survivorship the deceased parties name will then be removed.
How do I request a parcel split?
Contact the zoning administer (see pg 5 of the linked document) for the township/city the property is located in. They will provide you with an application form. You will need to complete the form and submit it for township approval. Once the township has approved the split, record a deed with the new legal descriptions and submit a copy of the split approval to the Equalization Department.
How do I request a parcel combination?
NOTE: a parcel combination cannot be completed if there are delinquent taxes owed on any of the parcels, if the parcels are not in the same class, and/or if the owners of record for the properties are not the same.
To request a combination, download the REQUEST TO COMBINE FORM. Complete the form and have ALL property owners sign it. Submit the completed form to the assessor for the township/city the property is located in and request that they complete the bottom portion and forward it on to the Equalization Department. Upon receipt of a completely executed request form, the Equalization Department will complete the combination, or notify you if one of the above noted items makes the properties ineligible for combination.
What and when is Tax Day?
Tax day is December 31st. It is the value of the property on this day that the following years assessment is based on.
What are Personal Property Taxes?
Personal Property Taxes are taxes paid on items which are not permanently affixed to land, including things like equipment, furniture, tools, computers. In Michigan, only businesses pay the personal property tax (PPT); items for household use have been exempt since the 1930s. Click here for more information on Personal Property Taxes.
What is the Assessed Value?
The assessed value is what the assessor has estimated 50% of the properties true cash value to be. The Michigan State Constitution requires the assessed value be set at this level. The assessor cannot set the Assessed Value at 50% of a properties sales price. They use a formula which takes into account land value, economic conditions, condition and characteristics of the home, and other sales in the neighborhood.
What is the State Equalized Value (SEV)?
All assessed values are reviewed county and by the Michigan State Tax Commission. They may add to, subtract from, or approve the county equalized value as submitted. The value resulting from these actions becomes the State Equalized Value.
What is the Capped Value?
When ownership of a property is transferred (See Transfer of Ownership Guidelines for transfers which are exempts from uncapping) the following year the taxable value is equal to the State Equalized Value. This is referred to as the value being ‘uncapped’. Each year thereafter the property's taxable value is ‘capped’, meaning it can only increase annually by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less, unless there is an addition to the property (i.e., physical improvement or omitted property). A properties taxable value can also decrease if there is a physical loss to the property or if the State Equalized Value drops below the capped value. The value created by the limitation on increase is called the Capped Value.
The formula for calculating the capped value is:
(previous year’s taxable value - losses) x (1.05 % or the consumer price index multiplier, whichever is less) + any additions = Capped Value
Click here for a list of list of CPIs and for more information on calculating the capped valued.
What is the Taxable Value?
The taxable value is what is used to calculate your property taxes. It is the lesser of the State Equalized Value (add hyperlink) or Capped Value (add hyperlink). The taxable value was created upon the passage of Proposal A, by the electorate in 1994.
How is my tax bill calculated?
The base tax dollars are calculated by using the taxable value and the millage (mill) rate for the property, which is determined by the properties unit, school district, and PRE status. Click here to go to our Documents Center where you can download the most recent mill rates. In some cases, special assessments and/or an administrative fee are added to get the final amount owed. For additional tax questions please contact the Treasurer's office.
Am I allowed to view my assessment records?
Yes. The assessment records are maintained by the assessor for the unit the property is located in. A list of the township officials and their contact information can be found in our documents or by clicking here.
How do I appeal the assessed value of a parcel?
Note: Property assessment notices are mailed in February of each year.
The assessed value and taxable values can be appealed by petitioning the March Board of Review. Your assessment notice will include the dates and times the March Board of Review will meet. You can petition in person, by mail, or ask that someone go and represent you. Print and complete form L-4035 and either mail it to the assessor’s address listed on the assessment notice or bring it to the board of review.
Commercial/Industrial Real Property:
As of the year 2007 Commercial and Industrial Real property appeals can be made directly to the Michigan Tax Tribunal on or before May 31st.
What are the March, July & December Boards of Review and what can they do?
The Boards of Review were created by the Michigan General Property Tax Law. The March Board of Review has authority to change the current year’s assessments and may consider a variety of other items. The July & December boards review exemptions, Taxable Value uncapping, and correct clerical errors and mutual mistakes of fact. For more information on the boards of review and what they can/cannot do please see the state issued guide to the Boards of Review.
What can I do if I'm not happy with the decision made at a March Board of Review?
Assessments reviewed by the Board of Review can be appealed to the
Michigan Tax Tribunal. The appeal deadline for Residential and Agricultural properties is July 31st of that year.
How is the assessor notified of a change in property ownership?
When there is a transfer of ownership, or of the beneficial use of real property, buildings on leased land, leasehold improvements, or leasehold estates, the buyer or beneficiary of the transfer is required to file a Property Transfer Affidavit (PTA) with the appropriate assessor. If the transaction is handled through a title company, they will typically prepare and file the PTA for you.
What is the Principle Residence (Homestead) Exemption, also known as a PRE?
State law grants an exemption from local school operating taxes for Principal Residence and Qualified Agricultural properties. Currently this is a reduction of 18 mills of school tax. This exemption may not exceed 18 mills of school tax. (See PRE Guidelines & Qualified Agricultural Property Guidelines).
How do I apply for a Pinciple Residence (Homestead) Escemption aka a PRE?
Click here to download the PRE Affidavit. Complete the form and mail to the assessor for the township/city the property is located in. If you’re unsure if you qualify for the Primary Residence Exemption, please review the State Guidelines.
How do I request a Principle Residence (Homestead) Exemption be removed?
Click here to download the Request to Rescind. Complete the form and mail it to the assessor for the township/city the property is located in. If you still own the home and are trying to sell it, you may qualify for a Conditional Rescission. Please see the instructions attached to the form for more information on if your circumstance qualifies.
What if the property I had a Principle Residence Exemption on is no longer my principle residence?
What is a Poverty or Hardship Exemption?
Section 211.7u(1) of the Michigan General Property Tax Act defines the poverty or Hardship Exemption as a method to provide relief for those who, in the judgment of the Board of Review, are unable to fully contribute to the annual property tax burden of their principal residence due to their financial status. See the Poverty Exemption FAQs issued by the State or contact your assessor for more information.
How do I apply for a Poverty Exemption?
Contact the assessor for the unit your property is located in for
details on the qualifications & application process. Applications must be submitted each year for the exemption to be granted for that year.
What is a Veteran's Exemption?
P.A. 161 of 2013 established a property tax exemption for 100% Disabled
Veterans. More information can be found in the state issued guidelines, from the Michigan Department of Treasury, or by contacting the department of Veterans Affairs.
How do I apply for a Disabled Veteran's Exemption?
Click here to download the form which needs to be filed with your assessor. Additional documentation may need to be submitted (see the form for details). The form must be filed prior to the meeting of the December Board of Review each year you wish to receive the exemption.
What is the Qualified Agricultural Property Exemption?
A qualified agricultural property is a property that is entitled to an exemption from certain local school operating taxes, typically 18 mills. Eligible properties are either classified as agricultural on the current assessment roll or have more than 50% of their acreage devoted to agricultural use as defined by MCL 324.36101. Please see the state issued guidelines for more information.
The following related forms can be found in our documents center:
Form 2599 - Claim for Farmland (Qualified Ag) Exemption
Form 3677 - Notice of Intent to Rescind Qualified Ag Exemption
Form 3676 - Affidavit Attesting that Qualified Agricultural Property Shall Remain Qualified Ag
Form 2743 - Request to Rescind Qualified Agricultural Property Exemption