Frequently Asked Questions
What is "Assessed Value"?
The Michigan Constitution requires that property be uniformly assessed at 50% of its true cash
(market) value. The Assessor’s Office estimates your Assessed Value based on a study of sales
of homes similar to yours during the time frame as outlined by the State Tax Commission. Every
property receives a new Assessed Value each year regardless of whether or not the home has
sold. A property’s taxable status is determined as of December 31, which is called Tax Day.
What is "Taxable Value"?:
The amount upon which your property taxes are levied. Taxable Value is capped and can only
change by the rate of inflation* each year (or 5%, whichever is less), unless a property has had a
Transfer of Ownership in the prior year, or had physical changes (see below). In no case can
your Taxable Value exceed your Assessed Value. *The inflation rate is determined by the State
Tax Commission, and applies to all properties in the entire state.
How Does a Property Transfer Affect My TAXABLE Value?
If a property has a Transfer of Ownership this year, then next year the Taxable Value is uncapped
and made to match the Assessed Value. In many cases, this results in an increase in the property
taxes, oftentimes by a substantial amount. How much the taxes increase will depend upon how
long it has been since the previous transfer of ownership occurred and how much the market has
changed during those years?
How Does a Property Transfer Affect My ASSESSED Value?
It doesn’t. As mentioned above, each home gets a new Assessed Value each year whether it has sold or not, and that Assessed Value is based on our study of all sales of homes similar to yours within your area of the city – it is not simply based on how much you personally paid for your house.
How Do Physical Changes Affect My Assessed & Taxable Values?
50% of the estimated market value of certain physical changes to your property will be added to your Assessed & Taxable Values. Common Changes: Adding a deck or patio, adding a garage or shed, adding central air, etc.
How is My Property Taxes Calculated?
Your Taxable Value is multiplied by the Tax Rate to determine your Property Taxes. Tax Rates change from year to year and vary depending upon which School District you live in and whether or not you are receiving a Homeowner’s Principal Residence Exemption. The Tax Rate has several components, such as: City, County, Local Schools, Intermediate Schools, Community College, State Education, and Public Transportation Authority.
What is a Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption?
This is an exemption from 18 mills of School Operating tax, which significantly reduces the homeowner’s tax burden. To be eligible, you must be both the owner of the home AND occupy it as your principal residence. Additionally, you must have a valid Homeowner’s Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit on file with the Assessor’s Office. This form is provided to buyers at the time of closing, and is also available at the Assessor’s Office. Note: Under Michigan law, an individual, or married couple filing a joint tax return, is only allowed to
claim this exemption on ONE home – the one occupied as your principal residence.
What is a "Mill"?
Tax rates are always expressed in terms of “mills”. One “mill” equals $1 in property tax for each $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. For example, if the total annual tax rate were 50 mills, you would pay $50 per $1,000; and if your home’s taxable value was $43,500 you would pay $2,175.
How does the "Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption" differs from the "Homestead Property Tax Credit"?
The Homeowner’s Principal Residence Exemption (formerly known as a Homestead Exemption, and still frequently referred to as such) is a reduction in the tax rate, which causes your taxes to be billed at a lower amount. The Homestead Property Tax Credit on the other hand, is a part of your Michigan Income Tax Return (identified as form 1040-CR), which, dependent upon your
income, refunds a portion of your property taxes after the fact.
When is My Property Taxes Due?
Summer taxes are billed on July 1st and due by August 31st. Winter taxes are billed on December 1st and due by February 14th.
What Form of Payment is Accepted?
Cash, check, or money order. Partial payments of any amount will be accepted, however, any balance remaining after the due date will be subject to penalties and interest. Any balance remaining unpaid after February 28th would be turned over to Oakland County as delinquent.
Additional penalty & interest will be charged by the County, and payment would then have to be made to the County. You will no longer be able to pay at the City.
If I don't receive a Tax Bill, can I assume I don't owe any taxes?
Never assume this. Property taxes are billed every July 1st and December 1st. If the bill has been requested by a mortgage company, it is automatically sent to that mortgage company. If not, it is sent to the mailing address our office has on record for the property owner, and it is the responsibility of the property owner to keep our office informed of their current mailing address. IMPORTANT: If you are responsible for paying your own taxes, and have not received your bill within 1 week of the dates mentioned above, you are strongly advised to contact the City of Oak Park Treasurer’s Office at 248-691-7545. Failure to receive a tax bill does not negate your obligation to pay it and, per the City of Oak Park’s Charter, penalty and interest cannot be waived for any reason.
But Money was Already collected for property taxes at my closing, why would I have additional property taxes due this year??
Closings vary depending on the situation, but ordinarily the buyer is required to pay a pro-rated amount to reimburse the seller for property taxes already paid. Tax bills issued after the closing date, are the buyer’s responsibility, as they cover the period going forward, not backward.
What should I do with the "Notice of Assessment & Taxable Valuation" which the Assessor's Office mails to me each February?
Review all the information it contains and keep it for use in preparing your income tax return next year. If you have any questions regarding this notice, your property values, etc., contact the Assessor’s Office for assistance. If you are still not satisfied, and wish to appeal your values, you can schedule an appointment with the March Board of Review. Please note, under Michigan law, the March Board of Review is the only op
Is Assessing Information Available On-Line?
Is Assessing Information Available On-Line?
Yes, property assessment and tax information
is available on the City’s web site at: www.oakparkmi.gov