MAA President's Message
Hello MAA Members,
It has been said that there is nothing permanent except change. For those of us who have chosen Assessment Administration as a career we have had to deal with an significant number of changes in our profession since “Proposal A” was approved by the electorate on March 15, 1994 and drastically reshaped the entire property taxation system in the State of Michigan. Proposal A first created the “assessment cap” and the terms “capped value” and “taxable value” and also created the homestead exemption and, later on, the principal residence exemption program. In 1995 Proposal A also first provided for the “uncapping” of taxable values for those properties with “qualified” transfers.
Over the past 22 years there have been a number of court cases that impacted the daily responsibilities of working assessors including the Michigan Supreme Court decisions in WPW Acquisition Company v. City of Troy (2002), Ford Motor Company v. City of Woodhaven, County of Wayne, City of Sterling Heights, and Township of Bruce (2006), Toll Northville, LTD v. Township of Northville (2008) and Klooster v. City of Charlevoix (2011) just to mention a few. The recent Michigan Court of Appeals Decisions regarding the assessment of “big box” stores continue to directly affect property values across Michigan.
The valuation of locally assessed personal property assets was a major responsibility of many of those in Assessment Administration over the past 22 years as well. The 1999 adoption of new personal property multipliers and the appeal of public utility multipliers were major valuation issues in the early 2000’s. The valuation issues of personal property classification and qualified automotive manufacturing appeals began in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The exemption of “eligible personal property” starting in 2014 and qualified new and previously existing “eligible manufacturing personal property” starting in 2016, along with the creation of the Essential Services Assessment (ESA) has also resulted in dramatic changes in the responsibilities of local assessors in valuing personal property assets across the State of Michigan.
The local assessor has also had to deal with many procedural changes over the past 22 years. The late 2000’s had many challenges associated with the economic “meltdown” including whether to use a single year sales study, whether to use foreclosure sales in our sales studies or how to deal with assessment appeal caseloads that increased tenfold in many municipalities around the state. Couple those issues with continuing evolving local assessment practice and educational certification requirements and you get a situation that was pretty challenging for many professionals that were working in our chosen field.
I am not complaining. I only mention these issues because I believe that those who have served in this line of work do deserve a lot of credit for adapting to more changes than has occurred in many other professions. Frederick Douglass once said “if there is no struggle there is no progress.”
~ Matthew Schmidt, President