In 1968 Fred W. Morgan began his career in assessment administration as an appraiser with the Wayne County Equalization Department, formerly known as the Bureau of Taxation, and then later as Supervisor of Property Tax Appeals and Chief Commercial/Industrial Appraiser before retiring from the County in early 1983.
In August of 1983, then Governor James Blanchard appointed Fred to the appraiser judge position of the Michigan Tax Tribunal, a position he held for seven years, where he exercised his conflict resolving abilities and opined in hundreds of cases as Judge and later as Chairman of the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
In 1990, when the people of Michigan elected new Governor that was not of Fred’s persuasion, Fred's appointment to the Tribunal was not renewed. As a consequence, he was required to find alternative employment at the midpoint of 1991. Unfortunately, Fred chose to go to the “dark side”. From 1991 through 1998, Fred was employed by an appellant attorney firm. Then in October of 1993, Fred achieved is Level 4 designation from the State Assessors Board.
In 1998, Mr. Morgan was appointed to the position of Chief Assessor for the City of Detroit. Fred’s tenure during the new millennium of the City of Detroit was a perilous voyage. Due to the relaxed mortgage requirements, the prices paid for residential property in Detroit grew exponentially in the 1990’s. The affect was cataclysmic “sticker shock”. In Detroit’s better neighborhoods, taxes would jump from $2 and $3 thousand to $12 and $15 thousand or more following a sale and uncapping of the taxable value. When the market finally recognized the problematic effect of uncapping taxable values, sales of the best homes in Detroit suddenly stopped. Buyers who could afford the increasing price of a house were unwilling or unable to assume the increased tax burden. Detroit’s best homes and mansions began to sit vacant for months and longer and become vulnerable to “urban miners”.
In 2005 Fred to devise a plan that would break the stagnation of quality home sales. He proposed a form of tax exemption that would cut the city and county taxes in half for homes in subdivisions platted before 1968 and which were purchased in 1998 or after. In 2005, Fred’s plan was written up as proposed legislation under the heading of Senate Bill 529 of 2005 and later was signed by the Governor as Act 338 of 2005.
In 2005 Mr. Morgan was appointed to the Michigan State Tax Commission. For the next four years, Fred proudly served on the State Tax Commission and also served as the STC member on the State Assessors Board. However, as occurred in 1990, all good things come to an end. Another Governor of a different persuasion took office in 2010 and Fred moved on.
In 2010 Fred returned to the City of Detroit’s Board of Assessors. Unfortunately, due to the combination of the mismanagement of previous administrations, the financial collapse of the housing markets and the necessary reallocation of budgeted revenues, there were very little resources available to properly administer assessments in the City of Detroit. In 2013, the Governor assigned an emergency financial manager to assume responsibility of the City of Detroit and Fred w required to move on once again.
After a lifetime of involvement in the assessment administration profession, Fred is the only person to have achieved the trifecta of our profession, an earned Level 4 certification, a Judgeship with the Michigan Tax Tribunal and State Tax Commissioner. There are few other assessors that has ever participated in so many diverse and momentous professional capacities.
It is because of Mr. Frederick W. Morgan’s many years of professionalism, dedication and commitment to the field of assessment administration that we honor him with the 2018 Edward W. Kane Most Valuable Member Award
Return to Awards page...