Department Establishment & Initial Purpose
The establishment of the Equalization Department is a statutory requirement under MCL 211.34. The initial purpose of the Equalization Department is to survey assessments (land and lake value studies, sales, appraisal and economic condition factor studies) to create uniformity by class among the individual Townships and City within the County. The Equalization Department may not change an individual assessment.
The Equalization Director advises the County Board of Commissioners if assessments are relatively equal. If assessments are not equal under the law, the Director advises the County Board to "add to or deduct from" an entire class of property. This will produce a sum that represents the True Cash Value of the entire class as projected by the Equalization Department studies to accomplish County Equalization.
- Maintenance of the assessment/tax rolls - This function includes:
- Mailing Address
- Descriptions (splits and combinations)
- Principal Residence/Agricultural exemption
- Updates of all tax maps and aerial photo overlay as splits and combinations occur
- Maintain Tax Maps (parcel lines, roads, subdivision lines, parcel numbers, etc) for the Manistee County Geographic Information System (GIS) and Land Information System (LIS)
- Preparation of all Township, Village and City rollbacks (Headlee, Truth in Assessing, Truth in Taxation)
- Collection and compilation of all Taxing Jurisdictions’ millage information for County Apportionment
- Collection and input of information from all taxing jurisdictions for the preparation of summer and winter tax rolls and bills