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Appointments are made by the Mayor and affirmed by the City Commission each year before the start of the fiscal year on July 1st. The first step is to fill out an application and return it to the City Clerk’s Office. Applications are kept on file for two years. You can fill out the application online or print out the application form.
If you want a ballot mailed to you, you must apply by 5:00 pm the Friday prior to an election. The day before each election, you may vote an absentee ballot in person at the office until 4:00 pm.
Taxable values began in 1995 as part of Proposal A. Taxable values are adjusted each year by the Consumers Price Index (CPI) or 5%, whichever is less until a property ownership transfers. Your taxable value cannot be greater than your state equalized value. In other words, Proposal A "capped" taxable value increases by the CPI or 5%, whichever is less plus the value of losses and additions caused by physical changes in that property that are not present on the record card.
Estimate your annual taxes by multiplying ½ of the estimated total value of the completed home times the tax rate. Be sure to add land value to your value estimate before computing your estimated taxes.
Copies of recorded deeds and land contracts can be obtained from Kent County Register of Deeds Office at www.accesskent.com.
If you need to find your property lines, you should contact a local surveyor to perform this service. Several are listed in the yellow pages of the phone books. We can provide your lot size and a copy of your plot map to get you started, but we cannot survey or locate stakes on your property.
Michigan law requires everyone to support local public schools through property taxes. Eligible homeowners may be exempt for 18 mills of school operating taxes, but are still responsible for school debt, building funds and state education taxes.
Typically this happens about one year after you buy a new house or after a millage election. Your mortgage company probably based your original tax escrow payment on the last known taxes. After you purchased the property it’s taxable value was uncapped for the next tax year. The taxes were then based on a higher value. Even if you have not purchased a new house a special election authorizing additional millage will result in a higher tax bill. Once this happens, your mortgage company reevaluated your escrow amounts and changed your payment to cover the actual taxes on your home. They may also increase your payment to make up any shortfalls in the previous year.
This addition will be added at 50% of true cash value to the assessment and the taxable value. The taxable value for the original property will continue to be calculated in the capped value formula. The new value will add to your taxes. The formula for taxable value is (previous year taxable value-losses) x (CPI or 5%)+ Additions.
Assessors use a state required mass appraisal method to value properties. We estimate land values from sales data and building values from a state cost manual. Then, we analyze sales data from your neighborhood and develop factors we use to further adjust our estimates to reflect local market value.
Assessed value changes vary according to the individual characteristics of houses in relation to sales in your area. Building style, size and amenities such as porches, decks, garages, and extra bathrooms affect value estimates.
The current sales information for your neighborhood may show no value increase over last year’s value. However, the taxable value is tied to the Consumer Price Index and calculated annually causing an increase in your taxable value. Until your taxable meets your assessed value, your taxable value will continue to increase the CPI or 5%.
Michigan law prohibits assessors from basing values on one sale price. We are required to value your property based on the methods used to value other properties in your area. While we hope our value estimate is close to your sale price, it is an estimate and may not be the same as your recent sale.
The summer taxes are billed July 1st each year and are due by August 14th without penalties. The winter taxes are billed December 1st each year are due by February 14th without penalties. On March 1st, the delinquent tax rolls are given to the County Treasurer and additional penalties are added.
Although the taxing agencies on your bills may have different fiscal years, your bills are for the calendar year in which they are billed. Add your July and December tax bills together for your total annual taxes.
Taxes are computed by multiplying your taxable value times the total mills. A mill is $1.00 per thousand dollars of taxable value. An easy formula to calculate taxes is shown below:
Taxable Value X Mills / 1,000 = TaxesHomestead 200,000 X 48.6664/ 1,000 = $9,733Non-homestead 200,000 X 66.6664/ 1,000 = $13,333(Remember, a homestead is exempt from 18 mills of school operating taxes!)
Property taxes are determined individually according to taxable value. If you recently purchased your property, your taxable value was uncapped. Your neighbor’s taxable value may still be capped and less than yours. The assessed values on a property in 1994 became the base value for taxable value calculations starting in 1995. Because properties have been bought and sold at different times taxable values may vary significantly. A lower taxable value means lower taxes.
Contact information is listed for each commissioner. Generally, email is the best contact method so that your request is in writing and goes directly to your commissioner.
If you wish to share something with all members of the City Commission, send an email to City Clerk Lori Parmenter at and it will be distributed to the entire commission.
We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You can register in person, phone, fax or online.
No. There are charcoal grills at Manhattan Park and they can be used by the public. People renting the Manhattan Park pavilion can request a gas grill permit and if approved may be allowed to use gas grills.
Yes, the City does require a fence permit before any fence installation can begin. This fence permit allows city staff and property owners the chance to make sure that any new fence is compliant with the City's fence ordinance in regards to height, location, and material. For more information, contact Public Works Administration at (616) 940-4817.
City staff will check the city sewer main in the street to make sure there is not a blockage in the City main. If the city main is clear, the blockage is located in the private sewer lateral and you will need to contact a private licensed plumber to clear the blockage. Sewer claims are subject to the City sewer backup policy and state law. A claim form may be requested by contacting the Finance Department at (616) 940-2110.