Page 33 - Senior Housing Directory 2022 South Central Michigan
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                                                                                                                                          Real Estate Taxes By: James E. Reed, Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C.
you own a home or other real property, such as a vacation getaway, you are familiar with
taxable value was equal to your proper- ty’s taxable value during the immediately prior year increased by the lesser of 5% or the increase in the consumer price index.
There is, however, a catch. You might notice your property tax bill still shows
an amount for the state equalized or assessed value in addition to the taxable value. Your taxes are based upon the taxable value, but the state equalized value is the assessor’s estimate of 1⁄2 of the property’s fair market value. So long as you continue to own the property, in- creases in the taxable value are limited as described above. When you sell or oth- erwise transfer your property to another party, the law requires the taxable value be adjusted to equal 1⁄2 of the property’s fair market value, usually meaning its state equalized value.
If you have owned your property for a substantial period of time or if your property’s value has increased substan- tially while you have owned the property, there might be a substantial difference
between the taxable value and the state equalized value. In such a case, a trans- fer of ownership will result in a substantial increase in the assessed property taxes.
If, however, you want to leave your property to your children or other family member, the legislature has helped you out. Beginning December 31, 2014 a conveyance, either lifetime or at death, to your child and certain other family mem- bers, will not result in the adjustment of the property’s taxable value, so long as the property is residential property and remains residential property and is not used for commercial purposes. Under this new law, renting the property more than 15 days in a calendar year consti- tutes a commercial use and will result in the adjustment of the taxable value to
an amount equal to the state equalized value.
To help you understand how moving from your long-time home may impact you or a loved one reach out to a real estate attorney.
the unpleasant experience of receiving a tax bill from the local assessor once or twice each year. Depending on the prop- erty, those tax bills can be a real burden.
Before 1995, State law required the local assessor to base your tax bill on 1⁄2 of the fair market value of your property. The value on which the assessor based your property taxes was referred to in your tax bill as the state equalized value or the assessed value.
In 1994, the legislature revised the law to eliminate unpredictable and substan- tial tax increases based upon increasing property values. Beginning with calendar year 1995, property taxes would be based upon what the legislature called the taxable value.
In 1995, the taxable value was equal to your 1994 state equalized value. After 1995, however, general increases in property values did not affect your taxable value. Instead, your property’s
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How Do You Know Who To Choose? Should you select us?
Maybe. We’ve served many people and businesses since our inception in 1943. Our reputation has helped us to become one of the oldest firms in the area. We would like to serve you if we can. YOUR JUDGMENT OF US IS OUR REPUTATION!
 Battle Creek Office
70 Michigan Avenue West Suite 450
(269) 965-7000
Coldwater Office
28 West Chicago Street Suite 2B
(517) 278-0500
             Just because
you can’t take it with you
is no excuse to leave it in such a mess.
Estate Planning Wills • Trusts Probate
Diane K. Peters, Attorney
 905 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall
 (269) 248-6500

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