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 townships or cities each year to ensure the real and personal property in the respective townships and cities have been equally and uniformly assessed at an average level of 50% of true cash value.
The local Assessor is responsible for ensuring that there is equity between individual parcels. 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. This creates a starting base for the following year’s equalization.
The Equalization Department serves as a liaison between the County Board of Commissioners, the State Tax Commission, the local units of government, and the public. The County Equalization annually advises and assists the Board of Commissioners in determining the true cash value of the County and equalizing the property tax assessments on a countywide basis.
The department is also responsible for calculating all millage rollback fractions required by law (Headlee, Truth in Assessing, Truth in County Equalization and Truth in Taxation) for all Taxing Authorities within the County such as:
- County, townships, villages, city and district libraries
- Intermediate schools
- Kindergarten through 12th-grade schools
Following this process, the department compiles all millage to be levied within the County and submits the apportionment report to the County Board for their examination and approval and a copy to the State Tax Commission.