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Assessing Department


Assessors are certified in the State of Michigan through the State Tax Commission and must be certified at the level required for the Unit in which they provide services. The Assessing department is responsible for maintaining records for all real and personal property in the Township and is required to annually place an assessment equal to fifty percent of the true cash value on all taxable property not specifically exempt.


Assessing Department Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday 
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed Fridays
810-794-9303 

Barbara Schutt- Assessor (MAAO), assessing@claytownship.org
Chari Lawton-Assistant Assessor (MCAO),clawton@claytownship.org


ASSESSMENT INFORMATION & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Assessed Value of Property
The assessed value of a property may change, and usually does, from year to year.The main reason for a change in assessment is due to a change in the market value of a property. This could be that something new is added or something old is removed from the property.  Outside influences can affect value as well. If a major employer closes and leaves or if a new industry or development comes into an area, the assessment on a property can decrease or increase, respectively. An Assessor does not create the value for a property, rather it is created by people's actions in the market place. 

Why is there property tax?
There are many reasons, including better schools for our children, fire and police protection, and many public benefits that we all enjoy and usually take for granted.  A property tax helps each property owner pay their fair share for these benefits in relation to the value of their individual property.

What is uncapping? 
Uncapping is when a property is sold and there is a transfer of ownership the Assessed Value (SE V/State Equalized Value) plus land values and economic condition factors that are placed on the properties each year becomes your new Taxable Value. 
Example: Assessed Value is 50,000 and Taxable Value is 30,000. When a transfer of ownership occurs the Taxable Value become $50,000 (plus land value and economic condition factors). **Your taxes for the following year will not be what they were the year you purchased the home. If you bought property during the year, your taxes are based on the old owner’s values. Once the year is over your property becomes uncapped and your new values begin.

What is SEV(State Equalized Value)?
The SEV or State Equalized Value is half the true cash value of the property. This value is what is determined to be Market Value. There is no limitation on the percentage that is increased or decreased each year. Those values are determined by a 24 month sales study on what is happening in your neighborhood. Therefore, ½ of your purchase price will not become your new SEV. That process is called chasing sales and it is illegal. 

What is Taxable Value? Taxable value is the value to which the millage rate is applied, thereby determining your taxes.  The taxable value can be increased only by the amount of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 5% whichever is less.( Proposal "A" 1994) The Taxable value may increase or decreased if you add or remove buildings/structures from your property.

***ASSESSED VALUES CAN GO DOWN AND YOUR TAXABLE CAN GO UP, DEPENDING ON THE COST OF LIVING***