The decline in the housing market will be reflected again this year when assessment notices are mailed in late February. Most residential assessments in the City of the Village of Douglas will decrease in 2011. The decrease applies to areas that have had properties sell for less than double the assessed value in the past year. The changes are determined by the average relationship of sale price to assessment in a given area. If property sales are limited or non-existent in an area, the average change from surrounding neighbors will be taken into consideration to determine the percentage change in assessment. As mandated by law, the sales used to determine the 2011 assessments occurred between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010. The listing of the sales used is available on the City website. (Please note that , based on strict guidelines issued by the State, foreclosure sales are typically not considered when determining assessments). The assessed values for most of the commercial properties in the City will also be reduced for 2011.

As required by the constitution (Proposal A Amendment), there is a predetermined rate of change used as the basis for determining taxes. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) this year is 1.7%. This rate will be applied to the 2010 taxable value to determine the 2011 taxable value. If the assessed and taxable values are the same, and the assessed value is reduced more than the CPI, these two values will continue to be equal. The CPI does not apply to properties that have sold or made improvements during the year.

Assessment Change Notices (State Form #L-4400) are mailed the last week of February. Please review this notice carefully. In addition to value changes, it indicates Principal Residence and property transfer status as well as property classification. The Board of Review will meet, on an appointment basis, Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 22, 2011 to hear appeals. If, after you receive your Assessment Change Notice, you believe the assessed valuation of your property does not accurately reflect market value, please call 269-857-1438 to schedule an appointment. Written letters, emails and faxes are also accepted as appeal and must be received not later than March 15, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Assessment data is available on the City’s website. You are encouraged to review your property characteristics to confirm our data is accurate.

Email:        kziesemer@ci.douglas.mi.us
Fax:          269 857-4751
Mail:         P.O. Box 757, Douglas MI 49406