Each year the Assessor's Office must calculate the Assessed Value of each property. In determining the assessment, the Assessor reviews the characteristics of each property, identifies area neighborhoods, and uses a sales study to analyze market values within each neighborhood, comparing the sale prices to the assessed values.
Historically the State of Michigan requires a two year sales study be conducted unless the local assessor or County Equalization can demonstrate that a one year study is more appropriate. The State Tax Commission issued Bulletin No. 9 of 2009 which orders use of a single year study for the 2010 assessments unless County Equalization presents compelling evidence to support the use of a 2 year study.
For the City of Coldwater a 1 year sales study was conducted using sales from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. This 1 year study was then analyzed by neighborhoods and a factor was assigned to each area reflecting the actual activity within your neighborhood. The particular changes in your assessment are a result of sales activity within your area and these sales are used to determine the usual selling price of homes.
Similarly, sales or appraisal studies were conducted for Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural classes.
Inherent in the definition of selling price is the assumption that the sale does not involve any element of distress from either party. The State Tax Commission has issued guidelines concerning foreclosure sales and generally speaking theses guidelines preclude the Assessor from considering foreclosure sales when calculating values for assessment purposes. For this reason, all distressed sales, such as sales involving mortgage foreclosures or sales involving transfers to or from relocation companies, are not considered as typical sales in the valuation of property for assessment purposes nor are they reliable indicators of value when making market comparisons for current assessed values or appeals.
Principal Residence Exemption (PRE)
If you own and occupy your home as your principal residence, it may be exempt from a portion of local school operating taxes. You may check your percentage of Principal Residence Exemption on your "Notice of Assessment." You may not claim another exemption in another state. If you qualify and wish to claim an exemption for the current year, a Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit must be filed with the Assessor's Office on or before May 1st. The exemption continues until the use of your home as your PRE changes. Furthermore, if you currently have a Principal Residence Exemption on your property and you no longer own and occupy the property as your residence, you must rescind the exemption with the Request to Rescind Homeowners Principal Residence Exemption and file this with your local assessor's office.