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City of Lansing

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Mayor Virg Bernero
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City Assessor back

Common Questions


Where are you located?
City Hall is on the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Capitol. The Assessor's Office is on the third floor.

What are your hours?
City Hall is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday except for holidays.

I recently purchased a home. Will my taxes on this home be about the same amount as the prior owner's taxes?
No. Until 1994, property was valued for tax purposes at half its market value. This is called the "State Equalized Value" or SEV. That year, voters passed Proposal A, which limited the growth of property tax assessments. The formula under Proposal A keeps the taxable value of a property from growing as fast as the SEV. This gap can increase over time. However, when the property is sold, the taxable value is uncapped and jumps up to the SEV, but only for that year. There could be a substantial increase in your tax depending on the difference between the Taxable Value and the State Equalized Value of your property.

I have not been claiming a homestead exemption on my home. What should I do?
Contact our Assessing Department as (517) 483-7624 to correct your homestead status. Recent tax law changes allow the City to correct the homestead status for the current year and 3 years back. If you are due a refund for prior year tax payments, your refund will be issued by the Ingham County Treasurer's Office.

I do not have children in school. Is their a property tax exemption for this?
No. All residents pay school taxes whether they have children in school or not. However, residents who own and occupy a home as their principal residence pay a lower school tax rate. This is called the Principal Residence Exemption, or PRE. If you are eligible for the PRE, your tax bill should indicate no payment due under the "school operating" line item. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible for the PRE, call the Assessing Department at (517) 483-7624.

What is the difference between the Assessed Value and Taxable Value of my home?
Assessed Value is defined by state law as 50% of the market value of the property as of December 31st of the preceding year. Taxable Value is derived from a formula created by Proposal A in 1994, designed to limit tax increases at the rate of inflation. The formula is:
(Previous Taxable Value ? Losses) x CPI + Additions = Current Year's Taxable Value
Losses are defined as physical changes to the property that result in a loss of value?i.e. demolishing a garage.
CPI is the consumer's price index as calculated by the State of Michigan each October.
Additions are defined as physical improvements to the property that add value and were not previously assessed?i.e. adding a deck.

Why did my taxes go up so much this year?
There are several factors that affect your tax rate:
1. Your property's taxable value. The Taxable Value of a property is adjusted each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and other factors. An increase in taxable value will result in an increase in your taxes.
2. A millage increase. Your tax bill includes City taxes, County taxes and school taxes. Since your tax rate is based on your home's Taxable Value multiplied times the millage rate, a millage increase will cause your taxes to go up.
3. You purchased a new home. Proposal A, which was passed in 1994, places an annual cap on the growth of property tax assessments; however, when the home is sold, the cap comes off and the assessment reverts to the State Equalized Value (SEV).

I bought my house this year. How can I estimate what my taxes might be next year?
If you live in the Lansing Public School district, your taxes are approximately $45 for each $1,000 of your home's State Equalized Value or SEV. So, for example, if you purchased your home for $100,000, your estimated SEV would be $50,000 or 50% of the market value. At $45 per thousand, your taxes will be approximately $2,250 per year. However, keep in mind that the assessed value and millage rates may change for next year, so this is only an estimate.

How is my assessed value calculated?
All assessed values are calculated according the State Tax Commission standards. This value is shown as the State Equalized Value or SEV on your tax statement. It is a mass appraisal technique that takes into account the current cost to replicate your house and then depreciates that cost based on the age of the structure. It is then adjusted to market value by comparing the depreciated cost of homes that have sold in your area to their sales price. Each year, we are required by law to analyze sales by economic neighborhood using a two-year sales study to adjust that neighborhood so that assessed values are at 50% of market value.

I just bought my house. Shouldn't the assessed value automatically be half of what I paid?
By state law, a home's assessed value is not half its purchase price, but half of its market value. See the question above to find out how your home's value is calculated.

I want to know what information you have on my property. How can I get this information?
Assessment information on your home is public record and copies are available at the Assessor's Office at City Hall, 124 W. Michigan Avenue. We also have some of our data available on the internet at LANSINGMI.GOV. Go to the dropdown menu on the upper right corner and select Property Inquiry. You will be taken to a site hosted by BS&A Software, our software provider. Follow the instructions to search for data by Name, Address, or Parcel Number. Some information, such as square footage and year built, can be given over the phone. Call us at (517) 483-7624 for details.

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William E. Fowler
City Assessor
Contact
3rd Floor City Hall
124 W. Michigan
Lansing, MI 48933
Ph: 517-483-7624
Fax: 517-483-4101
assessor@lansingmi.gov

HOURS
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.