2017-02-02 / Local News

‘Multipliers’ indicate higher property values

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

A table full of numbers published as a public notice in this week’s newspaper may be all Greek to some readers.

Still, taxpayers may care about what the notice means, said Leelanau County Equalization Director Laurie Spencer.

The table appears on Page 5 of Section 2 in this edition of the Leelanau Enterprise and was published pursuant to state law, Spencer explained.

The “2017 Leelanau County Tentative Equalization Ratios and Estimated CEV Multipliers” table outlines the numbers county officials are using to calculate the value of various categories of property owned in Leelanau County.

Spencer said there are no big surprises or significant jumps in the numbers this year — or in the past several years, for that matter.

The “multiplier” column listed under each category of property indicates how much the assessed value of certain properties has risen or dropped since the same time last year. If the multiplier is below 1, then the property’s assessed value has dropped. If the multiplier is above one, the property’s assessed value has increased. No change (“N/C”) is listed if the multiplier is exactly one.

The multipliers listed for 2017 are mostly above 1, which is reflective of increasing property values across the Peninsula.

In fact, the multipliers in the residential category are larger than 1 in all 11 townships in the county. Residential property in Cleveland Township tops the list among townships with a ratio of “1.1194” — equivalent to an 11.94 percent increase.

The largest multiplier is 1.2405 for industrial property in Kasson Township.

The “ratio” column for each category indicates the difference between the assessed value of the category of properties and the true cash value of the properties. In other words, the CEV (County Equalized Value) of a property is exactly half of the estimated true cash value if the ratio is 50-percent.

The ratios are based on a sampling study conducted by the county with the help of local assessors, Spencer explained.

“The reason taxpayers should be paying attention to this is that these numbers will be reflected in the assessment change notices that they’ll start receiving in the mail in February,” Spencer explained. “These numbers tell you how the assessed value of your property was calculated.”

The other thing coming up, Spencer said, is township Board of Review meetings in March. Taxpayers who have any questions about their assessment, or who want to challenge their assessment, need to appear at a Board of Review meeting to do so.

“Taxpayers not only need to understand these figures, they should also obtain the information their township assessor maintains on their property to see what other factors went into their assessment before they approach their Board of Review,” Spencer said.

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