Assessor Phone

Brownstown Assessor

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Sharon Doom

About our Assessor


ABATEMENT: A complete or partial cancellation of a levy imposed by a government unit. The term usually applies to tax levies, special assessments and service charges.

ADJOINING: Touching at a point or line.

ASSESS: To value property officially for the purpose of taxation.

ASSESSABLE LEASEHOLD IMPROVEMENTS: Assessable leasehold improvements generally include trade fixtures and improvements of a Real Property nature made to rented space by a tenant.

ASSESSED VALUE: Value determined by the local assessor equal to 50% of the True Cash Value (market value).

ASSESSMENT NOTICE: A notification of Assessment, Taxable Valuation (including Leasehold Improvements) and Property Classification. It is not a tax bill. It is sent to all property owners each year as required by law. Reference: "How to read an assessment notice."

CAPPED VALUE: The prior year's Taxable Value minus losses if any, (eg: removal of a deck) multiplied by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the current year, plus additions (eg: new screened porch). Increases in capped value are limited to +5% or the CPI, whichever is less. This process produces the new Taxable Value each year.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI): It is a measure of the average change over time of the prices paid by consumers for goods and services. It is comprised of over 200 categories and arranged into 8 major groups that are Food & Beverages, Housing, Apparel, Transportation, Medical Care, Recreation, Education and Communication and Other Goods and Services. The Consumer Price Index is used to adjust the Taxable Value because of Proposal A.

CONTIGUOUS: Touching or connected in an unbroken sequence.

DEPRECIATION: A loss in value from any cause.

EASEMENT: The right of a landowner to make use of a road, water or other benefits on adjacent land.

EQUALIZATION: To make uniform the tax burden between two or more local units of a county or state based on current market values of assessable property.

HEADLEE AMENDMENT: A law that permits an increase in the base tax revenue equal to the year's inflation rate. (Taxable Value x Consumer Price Index)

LAND CONTRACT: Also known as a Contract for Deed or in some parts of the country, an "Installment Contract." This form is designed as an agreement between the Seller and the Buyer for the purchase of Real Property in which the payment of all or a portion of the purchase price is deferred.

LEVY: To impose taxes, special assessments or service charges for the support of governmental activities.

MILL: One tenth of a cent. Used in conjunction with Taxable Values to calculate taxes.

PERSONAL PROPERTY: In general, any property that is moveable or not attached to real estate and not exempt.

PROPOSAL A: A law that took effect in 1995 and created the Taxable and Capped Value

REAL ESTATE: Land and land improvements, including buildings and appurtenances, standing timber and orchard trees.

REAL PROPERTY: Real property includes the interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of physical real estate.

RESCIND: To remove or take away.

STATE EQUALIZED VALUE: The Assessed Value multiplied by County or State Equalization Factors. If the Equalization Factors are 1.00, the Assessed and State Equalized Values will be the same.

TAX RATE: The amount of tax stated in terms of a unit of the tax base; for example, 25 mills per dollar of assessed valuation of taxable property.

TAXABLE VALUE: The value by which property taxes are calculated by multiplying the current Millage Rate (Homestead or non-Homestead) times the Taxable Value. Eg: Taxable Value - $100,000. Millage Rate - 37.3680. $100,000 x 0.0373680 = $3,736.80 or stated another way: $100 x 37.3680 = $3,736.80.

TENANCY IN COMMON: A form of property co-ownership in which the co-owners own a partial interest in an entire property. When a tenant in common dies, the ownership interest of that tenant in common goes into the estate of that tenant in common, not automatically to the surviving tenant(s) in common.