Please note: The Treasurer's Office handles questions regarding the billing and collection of property taxes. Specific questions regarding property assessments should be referred to THE CITY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE - (616) 456-3081.
What is the difference between real and personal property taxes?
Real property is property which is attached such as land and buildings. Real property taxes are assessed on either commercial/industrial or residential property.
Personal property is any property that isn't real property. Personal property taxes are assessed only on property that is used in a business.
How is property assessed?
Real property assessments are based on market values and are assessed yearly by the assessor's department. Assessment notices are mailed to taxpayers of record in January of each year. An important part of assessing property is the appeal process. Real property assessments can be appealed at the March board of review.
Personal property assessments originate from a filing of a statement by the taxpayer. If a personal property statement is not furnished the assessor, he/she is authorized to assess such amount of personal property as deemed reasonable and just. The business property owner is required by law to report the value of property owned on a personal property statement form provided by the local assessor. Assessment notices are also mailed to business personal property owners in January of each year. Personal property assessments can also be appealed at the March board of review.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS CONTACT THE CITY ASSESSOR'S DEPARTMENT AT (616) 456-3081.
How is my tax rate determined?
In the summer tax cycle, the tax levies of the City, Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids Community College, the State of Michigan, and the respective public school district within which the property is located are approved by the elected board members. These taxing units primarily utilize their tax collections for the operating fiscal year that commences July 1st of the tax year being billed and continues through June 30 of the succeeding year. The State Education Tax is also levied in the summer tax cycle and the tax rate is authorized by the state treasurer. The state monies are applied to the State of Michigan operating fiscal year from October 1st (three months after the billing) through September 30th of the next year.
The Kent County Board of Commissioners approves the county tax rate to be levied for property tax bills which are levied December 1st of each year. The winter tax provides monies for the operating fiscal year that commences January 1st of the succeeding year (one month after the levy date) and continues through December 31st of the same next year.
What is the difference between assessed value and taxable value?
Taxable value (TV) is the value used to compute your tax bill and applies to real property only. "TV" is determined yearly as the LESSER of assessed value (market based as determined by assessor) and capped value. Capped value is the prior year's taxable value, less taxable value of losses, "capped" by an increase of the lesser of 5% or the rate of inflation, plus assessed value of additions. Taxable value becomes uncapped when property is sold or transferred.
What is a principal residence exemption and how do I know if I have one?
A homestead exemption entitles the owner of real property an exemption from the 18* mills of school operating tax for the percentage of taxable value used as a primary residence. The principal residence exemption must be claimed on a form approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury, form 2368 Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit. The principal residence exemption for your property will be included on your assessment notice expressed as a percentage. The principal residence exemption percentage will also be displayed on your tax bills. A principal residence exemption of 100% means your property is exempted from 100% of school operating taxes. Voted school bonded debt millages are NOT exempted.
Click on the following to link to form 2856 Guidelines for the Michigan Homeowner's Principal Residence Exemption Program.
* or less subject to Headlee Amendment roll back
FOR QUESTIONS ON YOUR PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE EXEMPTION PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY ASSESSOR'S DEPARTMENT AT (616) 456-3081.
Now that I know my taxable value and principal residence exemption percentage, how are my taxes computed?
This is a two part calculation:
1. Principal Residence Portion (Taxable Value X Principal Residence Exemption Percentage)/1,000 X (Full Millage Rate - School Operating Millage)
2. Non Principal Residence Portion (Taxable Value X (100% - Principal Residence Exemption Percentage))/1,000 X Full Millage Rate
2010 Assessed Value = $50,000
2010 Taxable Value = $47,242
2010 Principal Residence Exemption Percentage = 65%
2010 Summer Full Millage (Grand Rapids Public School district) = 47.7784
2010 School Operating Millage = 18.0000
1. Principal Residence Portion 2010 Summer Taxes = (47,242 X 65%)/1,000 X (47.7784 - 18.0000)
= 30,707.3/1,000 X 29.7784
= $914.41 (note: computed taxes are always rounded down)
2. Non Principal Residence Portion 2010 Summer Taxes = (47,242 X (100% - 65%))/1,000 X 47.7784
= (47,242 X 35%)/1,000 X 47.7784
= 16,534.7/1,000 X 47.7784= $790.00
Total 2010 Summer Taxes = $914.41 + $790.00
= $1,704.41 x 1% Property Tax Administration Fee = $17.04 - Total Summer tax bill is $1,721.45
How can I receive a credit or have my property taxes reduced?
The credits available do not originate from the City. The State of Michigan has a homestead property tax credit that can be calculated annually as part of the state income tax filing. In addition, a separate calculation is available for senior citizens for their homestead property taxes. More information on these credits can be obtained at the web site www.treas.state.mi.us or by calling 1-800-482-7000. Information regarding principal residence exemptions and poverty exemptions are available from the City Assessor's Office, phone (616) 456-3081.
Are there any tax abatements available?
Owners of industrial property may be eligible for an Industrial Facilities Tax. There are two types of IFT's, new and replacement. New projects are taxed at 1/2 the normal rate while replacement projects are taxed at the full rate but the taxable value is frozen. For more information on Industrial Facilities Taxes, please contact the Economic Development Department at (616) 456-3431.
What is a renaissance zone and what effect does it have on my property taxes?
Renaissance zones are geographic areas in which qualified residents and businesses are exempted from certain taxes in an effort to stimulate economic revitalization. Property taxes are exempted except for bonded debt levies. Taxpayers within the renaissance zone must qualify each year for the exemption. One of the qualifiers for exemption is property taxes cannot be substantially delinquent as determined by the local unit. The Treasurer's Office can assist you in determining if there are any property tax delinquencies on property within the City of Grand Rapids. Please note that property tax delinquencies on properties outside of the renaissance zone, or anywhere in the state of Michigan, will disqualify you from exemption.
Other yearly qualifiers are:
- Must timely file and not be substantially delinquent on city income tax, contact City Income Tax Dept. (616) 456-3415
- Must timely file and not be substantially delinquent on state income tax and single business tax, contact Michigan Department of Treasury (517) 373-1426.
- Must timely file both a personal property statement and a report of renaissance zone property - business property only, contact City Assessor (616) 456-3089.
- Residential rental property owners must file an affidavit by December 31 of the previous year stating that the property is in substantial compliance with all building and housing codes, contact Housing Inspections (616) 456-3053.
In addition, businesses locating into the renaissance zone may need approval from the city, township or village from which the business is locating from, or from the City of Grand Rapids if locating from within the city but outside the renaissance zone.
When can I expect to receive a bill and when is it due?
The summer tax bills are mailed the first week of July and are due without penalty by July 31 unless it falls on a weekend in which case the due date is the next business day. The winter tax bills are mailed the first week of December and are due the following February 14 unless it falls on a weekend in which case the due date is the next business day. The due date will always be clearly indicated on your tax bill.
I didn't receive a bill, what should I do?
Call our office immediately (616) 456-3020. We will send you a duplicate bill. Please note, it is the taxpayers responsibility to pay the taxes by the due date regardless of whether a bill was received or not.
My bill has someone else's name on it, what should I do?
First make sure it is your bill, i.e. check the permanent parcel number. If it is your bill, most likely there has been a recent ownership change and the taxpayer information hasn't been updated. If this is the case, you may pay on the bill you received. Again, please note it is the taxpayers responsibility to pay the taxes by the due date.
How do I change the mailing address?
Where can I pay my taxes and what payment options are available?
The City Assessor maintains mailing addresses. The back of your tax bill has a form for address changes that when received is forwarded to the Assessor. For more information on what is required to change an address contact the City Assessor at (616) 456-3081.
- At our office - City Hall is located at 300 Monroe Ave. NW and the Treasurer's office is on the 2nd floor, Rm. 220.
- Mail - please include the tax stub and note parcel number on your check - DO NOT SEND CASH.
- Drop Box - There is a drop box (light blue with City logo) conveniently located on the east side of Ottawa Avenue across from City Hall (look for the Calder statue and you are there!). Use this option to avoid paying for parking!
- Credit card - service provided by Official Payments Corp allows for credit card tax payments by phone. This is the same service as used by the IRS. There is a convenience fee charged by Official Payments Corp. Cards accepted are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. To pay your taxes by credit card call toll free 1-877-495-0333.
- Internet - go to www.officialpayments.com to pay taxes online. There is a convenience fee charged by Official Payments Corp.
What if I can't pay the tax bill when it is due?
Installment payments are permitted. Taxpayers may, at any time after the taxes are levied and prior to March 1st of the next succeeding year, pay City and school taxes in installments of not less than one-sixth of the amount of the original tax plus penalties due on the portion so paid to the date of payment. No payment shall be less than ten dollars ($10.00).
What are the penalties for late payment?
Summer taxes: 1% per month on unpaid principal. Unpaid real property taxes & penalties are turned over to the Kent County Treasurer as of March 1 of the succeeding year. Contact the Kent County Treasurer at (616) 632-7500 for payment information on taxes turned over delinquent.
Winter taxes: 4% collection fee is collected after the due date and before March 1. Unpaid real property taxes are turned over to the Kent County Treasurer as of March 1 following the due date. Contact the Kent County Treasurer at (616) 632-7500 for payment information on taxes turned over delinquent.
If I can't pay my tax bill on time will it affect my credit rating?
No, we do not report anything concerning your payment habits to the Credit Bureau.
The taxable value or principal residence exemption on my bill is incorrect, what should I do?
CONTACT THE CITY ASESSOR'S OFFICE IMMEDIATELY AT (616) 456-3081.
There are two opportunities each year for assessment corrections; at the July and December Boards of Review. However, the taxes billed reflect a legal assessment and are due by the due date and in the amount stated on the bill regardless of errors. Partial payments made in anticipation of an assessment correction are "at your own risk"; i.e., any residual balance due after corrections will bear penalties if delinquent.
The taxable value or principal residence exemption for my property is being corrected at the board of review, should I wait for the corrected bill before paying?
No. The bill you received is due and payable by the due date and in the amount stated on the bill. Partial payments made in anticipation of an assessment correction are "at your own risk"; i.e., any residual balance due after corrections will bear penalties if delinquent. The City Board of Review meets in July and December to correct errors to the tax roll for both the current and prior year only. PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY ASSESSORS OFFICE AT (616) 456-3081 FOR INQUIRIES.
If a change to your account by the Board of Review is necessary, it will be processed by the Treasurers Office within 30 days of receipt of the final report of adjustments from the Board. Until we receive a valid change to an account, the original billing remains as stated. Our office cannot adjust any accounts prior to receiving final authorization from the Board of Review.
If the change requires a refund due to the over-payment of tax, it will generally be processed within 30 days of the adjustment to your account. Please note that in the case of a principal residence exemption adjustment where a refund is due, we are directed to issue the refund to the taxpayer qualifying for the exemption, not to who necessarily paid the tax.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact us!
Property Tax Links
General Property Tax Act (Public Act 206 of 1893)
Michigan Department of Treasury