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Board of Review Information

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Board of Review

Established by the City of Westland Charter, Section (13.7) and Michigan General Property Tax Law, the Board reviews the annual assessment roll and hears appeals of real and person property assessments. The board also corrects “clerical errors, mutual mistakes of fact, and homestead status” relative to the current and prior year’s assessment rolls. 

The existence of the Board of Review is required under the Michigan General Property tax law, Act 206, 1893, as amended, as well as the Charter of the City of Westland, Chapter 13, Taxation, Section 13.7.  The Board consists of one- three member board, appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by the City Council.  

The Board of Review meets each March to review the annual assessment roll and to hear real and personal property assessment appeals.  The Board also meets in July and December for the purpose of correcting “clerical errors and mutual mistakes of fact”.  Since the passage of Proposal A in 1993, the Boards responsibilities have been expanded to address the Principal Residence Exemption Program. 

Board Members:

Thomas Nix, Melvin Tockstein, and Dennis Weese

Contact Information:

Please call the Assessing Office at 734-467-3160

Membership:

The Board of Review is comprised of a three (3) member board.  Each Board member must be registered electors of the City and own real property in the City.  One third of the Board is appointed each year by City Council to a three year term expiring on December 1. 

March Board of Review

The March Board of Review has an organizational meeting every year on the Tuesday following the first Monday in March.  This meeting is held in the Council Chambers at the Westland City Hall.  The objective of the organizational meeting is to review the current year assessment roll, make changes to the roll as deemed appropriate, and review hearing schedules for the upcoming Board of Review.

After the organizational meeting the March Board of Review meets to hear scheduled assessment appeal hearings.   The Board shall meet for a minimum of three (3) days and no less than six (6) hours per day as prescribed by law.  Also, the Board should meet for a minimum of (3) hours of its required sessions after 6 P.M.  Two out of the three members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the business of the committee.

The March Board of Review has the authority to review the following types of appeals: current year assessed value, current year poverty exemptions under MCL 211.7u; current year Assessor denial of the continuation of a Qualified Agricultural Property Exemption, and the current year assessment classification.  The Board shall review the roll according to facts existing on tax day, proceeding December 31. 

Every person who makes a request, protest or applications to the board of review for the correction of the assessed value or the tentative taxable value of the person’s property shall be notified in writing of the board of reviews action, not later than the first Monday in June.

An appeal must be made to the local Board of Review in order to preserve the right to further appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. An appeal of the Board of Review actions (except for property classification) may be made to the Michigan tax Tribunal, P.O. Box 30232, Lansing, MI 48909, in writing by July 31 of the current year.  Appeals that relate to the valuation of property classified as commercial, industrial, or developmental real property do not require protest to the March Board of Review.  These types of appeals must be filed with the Michigan Tax Tribunal by May 31 of the current tax year.  Appeals that contest the levying of a special assessment must be filed within 35 days of the date of hearing to confirm the special assessment roll. 

March Board of Review Timeline

Every year, near the end of February, an Assessment Notice will be sent to each real property and personal property owner in the City of Westland.  On this notice will be the previous and current year’s assessed and taxable value.  The dates and hours the March Board of Review meet will be on the Assessment Notice and the information about making an appeal.

If a taxpayer wants to appear at the March Board of Review one must contact the Assessor’s office and schedule an appointment.  APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO SERVE ALL TAXPAYERS TIMELY AND ORDERLY.  Taxpayers DO NOT have to be present to make an appeal to the Board of Review.  Written protests are an acceptable form of an appeal and must be mailed to the Assessor’s office by the adjournment of the March Board. 

When appealing an assessment a Petition to Board of Review (L-4035) form must be completed before being heard by the Board.  Filing a protest to the March Board of Review is necessary to protect your right to further appeal the decision to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Upon receiving the Assessment Notice in the mail the Assessor’s Office will be open during regular business hours, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., to answer any questions about the Assessment Notice.  Assessing personnel will be available to explain and discuss how assessments, property classifications and homestead percentages were developed.  They will also be able to answer any other assessing related questions the taxpayers may have.

July Board of Review

The July Board of review meets on the Wednesday following the third Monday in July each year.  The meeting is held at the Westland City Hall in the Council chambers.  This meeting of the Board is convened by the Assessing officer to correct any clerical error or mutual mistake of fact.  There are no valuation appeals heard at this meeting. 

An owner of a property that should have a “principal residence exemption” or “qualified agricultural” on the property by June 1 may appeal to the July Board of Review for the current year and the preceding three (3) years if the exemption was not on the roll. 

PA 74 of 1995 authorizes the July Board of Review to hear appeals for poverty exemptions. However, this does not include exemptions denied by the March Board of Review.  Poverty exemptions are only heard by the Board once per year.  If the taxpayer does not agree with the decision of the board an appeal can be made to the Michigan Tax Tribunal within 35 days of the decision.

An owner of a property may appeal the rescission of a principal residence exemption to the July Board of Review in either the year for which the exemption is rescinded or immediate succeeding year.   

December Board of Review

The December Board of Review meets on the Wednesday following the second Monday in December.  The meeting is held at the Westland City Hall in the council chambers and allows the assessing officer to correct any clerical errors or mutual mistakes of facts.  There are no valuation appeals heard at this particular meeting. 

An owner of a property that should have a “principal residence exemption” or “qualified agricultural” on the property by June 1 may appeal to the July Board of Review for the current year and the preceding three (3) years if the exemption was not on the roll. 

PA 74 of 1995 authorizes the December Board of Review to hear appeals for poverty exemptions. However, this does not include exemptions already denied by the March Board of Review. Poverty exemptions are only heard by the Board once per year.  If the taxpayer does not agree with the decision of the board an appeal can be made to the Michigan Tax Tribunal within 35 days of the decision.

An owner of a property may appeal the rescission of a principal residence exemption to the December Board of Review in either the year for which the exemption is rescinded or immediate succeeding year

 

General Board of Review Requirements

  • All meetings are open to the public, pursuant to Act No. 266 of the Public Acts of 1976.

  • A resident taxpayer must appear in person or be represented by an authorized representative

  • Attorneys, accountants, agents or representative may appear on behalf of a property owner; however, a written authorization letter from the Assessor’s office must be signed by the property owner and their representative. 

  • A resident and non-resident taxpayer may file a protest in writing and shall not be required to make a person appearance.  All written protest must be received by the board of review prior to the adjournment of the Board. 

 

ASSESSMENT APPEAL PROCESS

Per State law, the sale price of a property cannot be the sole determining factor of the assessment of that property. Neither the Assessor nor the Board of Review can raise or lower a property's assessment based solely on its sales price.

Notices of annual changes in property tax assessments are mailed to owners each year at the end of February approximately 14 days before the 1st day of the March Board of Review. Property Owners who wish to appeal the assessed value of their property may do so to the local Board of Review. Dates and times are listed on the assessment notices as well as published in the local paper. For 2017, the March Board of Review will be held during the following days and times:

 

Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15

from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Monday, March 13

from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

 to hear appeals by appointment only. No walk-in appeals allowed.

The Board of Review will also be in session on

Thursday, March 16 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for mailed-in appeals only.

No appointments will be made or walk-in's accepted this day.

Once the assessment notices have been mailed, residents and non-residents wishing to appeal in person may call for an appointment. No appointments will be made until after the notices have been mailed. The appointments are in 5-minute intervals. A "Petition to the Board of Review" must be completed for each parcel before appearing before the Board; otherwise incomplete appeals will be returned. Residents may appeal by letter as well. All supporting documentation for an appeal along with the required petition must be received before the last day of the scheduled Board of Review meetings by12:00 p.m. Property owners who appeal their value will need to provide proof to the Board of Review of what their property is worth. This can be done with either an appraisal, sales comparables, market analysis, pictures, etc. With either method of appeal (by appointment or by letter), the property owner MUST support their contention of value and include the documentation with the completed petition. Both method of appeals receive equal weight with the Board of Review. Decisions are not made during appointment times and all decisions are based on the documentation provided to the Board of Review with the required petition.

All assessments are to be based on the sales of similar properties during a particular time frame. The time frame for 2017 assessments is taken from home sales that occurred between October 2014 through September 2016.These sales are "arms-length transactions" meaning we do not typically use bank sales, foreclosures, etc. since they generally do not represent a sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller. The Assessor's Office has sales information available in the office or at the link below. You may also contact a local realtor. Per State law, the sale price of a property cannot be the sole determining factor of the assessment of that property. Neither the Assessor nor the Board of Review can raise or lower a property's assessment based solely on its sales price.

To view the list of October 2014 - September 2016 sales that Wayne County Equalization has deemed to be used for 2017 Assessments

CLICK HERE

 


GUIDELINES FOR OVER-ASSESSMENT APPEALS

YOU MAY RECEIVE A BOARD OF REVIEW REDUCTION IN YOUR ASSESSMENT IF:

  • Properties in your neighborhood, similar to yours in size, style, and age, recently sold on the open market for significantly less than double your assessed value.
  • You present a recent appraisal from a licensed and certified appraiser showing that the value of your property is significantly lower than the City’s assessed market value
  • Your property was recently purchased on the open market with a Realtor at a price lower than double the State Equalized Value (SEV). You must present a copy of the listing agreement.
  • Your building suffered severe structural damage such as settlement causing severe cracking, water damage so extensive as to undermine the foundation, or fire damage. In these instances, you can request an inspection for the property for a reduction in your assessment in relation to the damage.

LOWER ASSESSMENTS ARE NOT GRANTED FROM THE BOARD OF REVIEW BECAUSE:

  • Your property needs paint, carpet, windows, etc. You are expected to maintain your property in a reasonable condition. Assessments will not be lowered because you fail to do so.
  • Neighbors have too many cars in the drive, junk stored in the yard, house is in disrepair, too many people living in the house, dogs loose and noisy parties. Please report these disturbances to the Ordinance Officer at (734) 467-3207. Abandoned vehicles are reported to Police at (734) 722-9600.
  • Your neighbor’s house is of the same size, style, and age as yours. It is better carpeted, landscaped, etc., yet you are assessed the same.
  • Your property taxes are high, and your income is fixed. Michigan provides tax relief through P.A. 20 of 1973, which can be refunded by the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit Claim form (MI-1040CR). (Also, see Low/Limited Income Paragraph below).

March Board of Review Petition

Board of Review Authorization Form

Residents may also appeal to the Board of Review if they are facing a financial hardship. To appeal due to a hardship, you must complete an application (see below guidelines) and provide documentation of income along with other documents (i.e., Federal & State returns, Homestead Credit, mortgage and banking information, etc.) to the Assessor's Office. Please see the guidelines below for more information.

Limited Income Application and Guidelines