Welcome to the Equalization Department
Equalization Mandate Authority
The process of County Equalization is mandated by Section 211.34 of the General Property Tax Act of the State of Michigan, which states in part that the County Board of Commissioners shall examine the assessment rolls of the township and cities each year and ascertain whether each class of real and personal property in the township or city has been equally and uniformly assessed at an average level of 50% of true cash value.
The General Property Tax Act further states that the County Board of Commissioners of a County shall establish and maintain a department to survey assessments and assist the Board of Commissioners in the matter of equalization of assessments. The department may furnish assistance to local assessing officers in the performance of duties including development and maintenance of accurate property descriptions, the discovery, listing and valuation of properties for tax purposes, and the development and use of uniform valuation standards and techniques for the assessment of property.
Purpose of Equalization
The equalization process sets the property tax base for the county and helps to ensure that property taxes are levied in a fair and equitable manner.
Each year, under guidelines established by the Sate Tax Commission, the Equalization Department works with township and city assessors to assure proper equalized values for real and personal property throughout the County.
The Equalization Department’s main purpose is to correct the inequities that may occur between the local units of government as a result of under or over assessment of a property class. The Equalization Department does not determine individual assessments; that is the sole responsibility of the local assessor. The equalization process is accomplished using sales and appraisal studies performed on individual property classes in each township and city throughout the county.
The results of these sales and appraisal studies are used to determine the true cash value of each property class. The Department’s equalization studies are compared to the corresponding property class totals as determined by the assessor for each township and city. If necessary, the Department applies a County Equalization Factor to those classes that have an average level of assessment above or below 50% of true cash value.