Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Fighting tax assessment in Detroit Previous Next
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E_hemingway
Member
Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1552
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So I am fighting my tax assessment in the COD and so far I have found three problems with my assessment. They have me listed for too much square footage and as having 1.5 baths more than I have. They also increased the assessment of the previous owner more than the 5 percent allowed under Prop A a few times. Finally, I bought my place at one third of the price that it's assessed at. I have records of comparable nearby sales that are more in line with what I paid as opposed to the assessment.

So I am looking for advice about fighting this. Is my three-prong approach to fighting this solid or not? What order should I present these three gripes? Etc. Any help would be appreciated.
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Registeredguest
Member
Username: Registeredguest

Post Number: 158
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Schedule an appeal with the Assessor's Department/Assessments Division. There, you will meet with a representative and present your case. Bring documentation supporting each claim (pictures, sale price records, comps). The order you present does not matter so long as you're respectful, acknowledge that they're probably swamped with such requests and don't blame them for the over-assessment. If they believe you were wrongly assessed, they will send out an assessor for a personal visit to verify the truth of your assertions. Treat the assessor with the same respect. It helps to have your house looking messy, and to hide anything that may signify luxury or wealth. You'll most likely get a reasonable reduction. If you don't, or if they don't send an assessor out, then you can appeal to the the appeals review board (which meets late March, I think). If that doesn't work, then you can appeal to the state review board. This has to occur in this order, you cannot go directly to the state.

It seems a little late to appeal, however. I thought the appeal period ended mid-March.
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Goose
Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 108
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it appears solid

you definantly should win on the sq. ft. and bath count issues.... but then again, they might just say they don't believe you... not sure how you would officially "prove" your sq. ft.....

they don't care what you paid for your property, they say that the one sale doesn't make the market

they will probably find some reasons to discount the other sales your present...

overall i'd put the percentage of winning at 50-50, and theres only a 10% chance of that....
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Big_baby_jebus
Member
Username: Big_baby_jebus

Post Number: 108
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just went through this.

The assessment period for 2009 is already over, it ended two weeks ago or so. You have to make an appointment for this summers assessment for 2010 taxes.

The biggest problem was I didn't have a comparison study done. If you go empty handed they will just say no, but if do the work and get the comparison study showing the relitive prices your neighbors property value in relation to their taxes you got a very good chance I was told. Its all about documentation. I'm gonna spend a few months and do my homework and go back this summer. They will send you the retro payment so not a huge loss.

one more thing you should try...

I went down and had them verify my residency. If you do that you will have to fill out paper work for the Homestead Act, it allows up to I think %14 reduction on Property Taxes. They are sending me a retro active check for the year and half I over paid. I got a $1,400 reduction for just doing that.

Hope that helps,

good luck....see you down there.

BTW...Take an iPod and some patience.
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Lefty2
Member
Username: Lefty2

Post Number: 2974
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 1:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Take pictures of your house (address) and nearby houses and get a CMA from a realtor with real arms length transaction sales.

The tax sucking socialist in city hall will most likely and very politely find some flaw in your facts but it's worth a shot. The city added the February two week appeal process just to fuck with people.
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Big_baby_jebus
Member
Username: Big_baby_jebus

Post Number: 109
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, Pictures won't do much. They are asking for LAND COMPARISON STUDIES. If you go with pics of your run down house your gonna get laughed at.

Its not that they are going to try and find flaws in you facts. If you got good accurate facts without flaws in them you are gonna get them lowered. I spent the day there dealing with this and they actually seemed like they wanted to help me lower my cost.

Its short sighted comments like yours that make people not want to try anything and give up.
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E_hemingway
Member
Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1553
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 2:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I got my assessment statement a few days after the appeals process closed. After a few phone calls they set me up with a board of review appeal. I am going to take pictures of my place to verify my squarefootage and bathroom claims. I also have record of how they upped the assessment too much in previous years.

I do not have a comparison study, though. I did go through sale records of comparable places in my neighborhood and have several non-foreclosure examples of places that sold for around the same price or less than what I paid. One case it's a unit next door to me that is almost identical but was assessed at $30,000 less. Will this homemade study be passable for a CMA?

Thanks everyone. These responses are great.
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Jiminnm
Member
Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1776
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What the assessor did with prior years' assessments isn't really relevant to your assessment. Focus on the current value of your house vs. the current assessment.

First, point out the factual errors (sq ft and # baths). I advise drawing floor plans and taking interior photos that support the plan. Measure the outside of your house, or use any other info about size that you may have. If you're within +/- 5%, it probably won't have any effect. You have a fair chance of winning the factual arguments.

Then, take whatever sales info you can find on comparable properties and put them in an easy to read chart. Value per square foot should be included. Your neighbor's assessment may or may not be relevant if they've lived there a long time with only Prop A allowed increases. If I remember correctly, our annual assessments in Michigan contained two amounts, the assessment based on market value and the assessment allowed for tax purposes. Despite all that work, I would not hold out much hope that your appeal will be successful. The burden is the owner to demonstrate that the assessment is incorrect and the Boards can come up with very creative ways to explain how one's house may be worth more (and, thus, carry a higher assessment) than what one paid in an arm's length transaction.
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7051
Member
Username: 7051

Post Number: 198
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 6:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The tax appeal process is exactly the same in Detroit as all other Michigan municipalities with the exception of 1 extra preliminary deadline.

http://www.michiganpropertytax .com/links.htm

http://www.michiganpropertytax .com/index.asp
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Lefty2
Member
Username: Lefty2

Post Number: 2975
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BBJ, I went to the 8th floor and the man dealing with the public outside told more than a few people to take pictures., so you are incorrect here

I also disputed taxes last year and went there with accurate Solds, Active and Pending Comps.
They showed me their (comps) assessed homes) and and I was told that their info was accurate and so I lost my appeal. So you are incorrect again.

I also said its worth a shot because many people win. I also won one year
The clerks are very nice and polite there.
I have a problem with how the state and city managers run the whole flawed process.

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