City Assessor’s Office
Office hours are Tuesday & Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
About the Assessing Department
The Assessing Department is responsible for the assessment (valuation) of properties in the city. The assessment ultimately determines the amount of property taxes for each property. This is accomplished by:
The record card contains:
Assessment/Taxable Value Appeal Process
Assessment notices show changes in state-equalized value (SEV), assessed value (AV), and taxable value (TV). The notices are sent the middle of February every year. The dates and location for appeals are on the notice.
Following are the steps in the Appeal Process if you disagree with your Assessment:
1. March Board of Review
2. Michigan Tax Tribunal
March Board of Review
The March Board of Review was created to be a board of local citizens who examine and review the assessments and taxable value as determined by the assessor. The Board of Review begins hearings of appeals by taxpayers on the second Monday in March. An appeal to the local Board of Review is mandatory before an appeal can be filed with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The March Board of Review has the authority to:
- Conduct hearing for taxpayers to protest their assessments and taxable value
- Correct errors in names, tax descriptions, and assessments
- Grant/deny poverty exemptions
- Recompute taxable value if allowed by State Law
- Sustain, increase, or decrease assessed value based on market data
Appeals to the Board of Review are by appointment. The taxpayer will:
- Provide completed appeal form
- List sales of similar properties
- Recent appraisal (helpful)
- Provide his/her opinion of value
Decisions of the March Board of Review are mailed to the taxpayers of record within two weeks of the close of the March Board of Review.
Michigan Tax Tribunal
The tribunal is an administrative court that hears tax appeals for all Michigan taxes. Most of the tribunal’s appeals involve property tax.
Taxpayers who have appealed to the Board of Review in March, and still believe that the SEV or TV of their property is not correct, may appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal in the same year as the assessment is made. The filing deadlines differ by the class of property:
- Commercial, Industrial, or Utility Real and Personal Property: Deadline May 31 (no prior appeal to the Board of Review is required)
- Residential, Agricultural, and All Other: Deadline July 31 (prior appeal to Board of Review is mandatory)
The Small Claims Division of the tribunal is available for the residential properties or other properties with lesser amounts of value in contention. These appeals are initiated by completing a petition form.
Entire tribunal appeal must be initiated by petition served on all parties in interest (assessor, city, county, school, etc.) with proof of service of the same. Any property valuation appeal may be filed with the entire tribunal which is a more formal venue. Filing fees much accompany non-homestead property appeals. The fee schedule is available on the Tribunal’s website. Both letters of appeal and petitions must be timely filed for the tribunal to have jurisdiction to hear an appeal.
Principal Residence Exemption / Rescind
Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) Affidavit
If you own and occupy your principal residence, it may be exempt from a portion of your local school operating taxes. To claim an exemption, complete the PRE Exemption Affidavit Form and file it with Rockford’s assessor by June 1 (for summer tax cycle) and November 1 (for winter tax cycle) of the year of the claim. The assessor will adjust your taxes on your next property tax bill. Note that this is an exemption from part of the taxes and does not affect your assessment.
Owning means you hold the legal title to the principal residence or that you are currently buying it on a notarized or recorded land contract. Renters should not file this form.
Occupying means this is your principal residence, or the place you intend to return to whenever you go away. It is the address that appears on your driver’s license or voter registration card. You may have only one principal residence at a time. Vacation homes and income property which you do not occupy as your principal residence may not be claimed.
Rescinding Your Exemption
If you claim an exemption, then stop using it as a principal residence, you must notify your assessor within 90 days of the change or you may be penalized.
Interest and Penalty
If it is determined that you claimed property that is not your principal residence, you may be subject to the additional tax plus penalty and interest as determined under the Property Tax Act.
Conditional Rescission of Principal Residence Exemption
Homeowners who have moved to a new principal residence in Michigan and have their previous home for sale may qualify for a conditional rescission for up to three tax years.
To initially qualify for a Conditional Rescission for PRE, the application form must be filed with the Rockford Assessor’s Office on or before June 1 or November 1 of the first year the exemption is claimed. Thereafter, the owner must annually submit this form on or before December 31, to verify to the assessor that the property for which the PRE is retained is not occupied, is for sale, is not leased, and is not used for any business or commercial purpose.
Request to Rescind Homeowner’s Principal Residential Exemption
The Request to Rescind PRE Exemption Form enables people who are selling or converting their home to another use (i.e., converted it to rental property, commercial use, or you have moved out but the property is not yet sold) to rescind their exemption. It also allows owners to change the percentage that they occupy as their principal residence. This form must be filed within 90 days of the change. This rescind becomes effective January 1 following the change of use of the property.
Interest and Penalty
If you fail to rescind the exemption when the property no longer qualifies, you could be billed for additional taxes, penalty, and interest by the state, county, or local treasurer.
Property Transfer Affidavit
The Property Transfer Affidavit is used to inform the assessor of the transfer (sale, inheritance, etc.) of property. The Property Transfer Affidavit is a result of the Proposal A reforms which ‘caps’, or limits, the rate of increase of your property’s “taxable value” (the value used to calculate your tax bill). The taxable value cannot rise faster than the rate of inflation (excepting value added through additions or deletion to the property) until the property is transferred. In the tax year following the transfer of the property, the taxable value will “uncap” and become equal to the “assessed value”. Assessed value is one-half of the Assessor’s estimate of the market value of your property. The law now requires the transferee (buyer, inheritor, etc.) to file this form within 45 days of the transfer in order to ensure that this “uncapping” adjustment is made on all transferred property.
Failure to file a Property Transfer Affidavit can have serious consequences. If several years have elapsed when the transfer is discovered, you could be billed for all additional tax which should have been levied each year since the time the uncapping would normally have occurred, including penalty and interest.
Personal Property Tax
Please find a personal property tax statement here.
Affidavit of Owner of Eligible Personal Property
Claiming Exemption from Collection of Taxes here.
Contact City Assessor Tom Doane directly at 616 825 5006 or email.
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