The Purpose of Equalization
The County Equalization process is mandated by Section 211.34 of the State of Michigan General Property Tax Act. The law requires that all parcels be fairly and equally assessed.
Each County Director is appointed by the County Board of Commissioners, for an indefinite time, and is responsible for administering the property tax statutes within the County. The local Assessor is responsible for ensuring that there is equity between individual parcels. The Equalization Department is responsible for ensuring that each classification, within each unit, is assessed between the statutory set limits of 49%-50% of their true cash value, as established by a annual equalization study. This creates a starting base for the following year's equalization, thus assisting the County Board of Commissioners to carry out their statutory duty of equalizing the County.
The Department has on file copies of current and past assessment rolls, section maps, subdivision plats, recent sales data, and assessment and state equalization taxable value information.
Statutory duties include:
- Annually compile and report the equalized values for all classes in each local unit.
- Calculate millage reduction fractions for each taxing authority within the County.
- Perform and compile studies, both sales and appraisal, by class, within each local unit, to set base values and indicate changes for each assessing year.
- Provide assistance to the township and city Assessors who conduct individual appraisals.
- Annually compile and report the millage rates allowed to be levied by each local unit, for approval by the Board of Commissioners.
- Assist local unit Assessors in all matters of assessment administration.
- Assist the Board of Commissioners in all equalization and property value related issues.
Additional services provided by the Arenac County Equalization Department:
- Maintain standardized countywide data, including: values, property descriptions, title changes, owner names and address, classifications, exemption status, etc.
- Maintain maps for all parcel descriptions within the County.
- Educate the public on assessment administration procedures and requirements.
- Research and notify parties of discrepancies within recorded documents.
- Assist local officials with procedural and legal issues concerning assessment administration.
- Provide public and private access to parcel information.
- Prepare and print the County's current year tax roll.
- Assist the local units of government in the preparation and delivery of assessment change notices, personal property statements, tax bills, and the development and use of uniform valuation standards and techniques for the assessment of property.
The Equalization Department does not determine individual assessments - that is the sole responsibility of the local assessor. The equalization process uses sales and appraisal studies for property classes in each township and city throughout the County. The sales and appraisal studies determine the true cash value of each property class. If necessary, the Department applies a County Equalization Factor to those class assessments that are above or below 50% of true cash value.
- PRINCIPLE RESIDENCE (PRE) RESCIND FORM Rescind form.pdf see State web site for Principle Residence Form
Disclaimer: Department information and studies are developed for equalization purposes only, if used by others, no warranties, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of this data is guaranteed for any other use. Furthermore, the Department assumes no liability whatsoever associated with the use or misuse of such data. Information included here-in is deemed reliable, however is not guaranteed any reports posted could be revised at a later date without notice.