2012-03-15 / Letters to the Editor

Board of Review process ‘flawed’

The Board of Review process for appealing property tax assessments in Richfield Township is flawed. I went before the Board of Review in March, 2010, and I was told that an appraisal from a certified appraiser was the best method for a property owner to use for burden of proof purposes in establishing the fair market value of a property for tax appeal purposes.

Again, I went before the board in March, 2011, and this time I presented a written appraisal from a certified appraiser for a house that I believe was over assessed (taxable value and assessed value) for both the 2010 and 2011 tax years. Keep in mind that this appraisal was not the product of a mortgage re-finance, I paid an independent appraiser $275 to provide his professional opinion of fair market value utilizing professionally accepted appraisal practices.

My consternation comes not from the fact that the value established in the appraisal was not adopted, but that I received nothing of substance from the Board of Review or the township assessor as to why they disagreed with the market value established in the appraisal. I’m of the opinion that some of these Board of Review members have little or no knowledge of current real estate values when they are incapable of writing a coherent reply as to why the value established in an appraisal was not recognized. I’m even more amazed that the township assessor would tell me that she has no control in the matter, and the decision to recognize my appeal was totally up to the Board of Review, and that my opinion was to appeal to the State of Michigan Tax Tribunal with an application cost of $125 to start an appeal that is now in process. Taxpayer service at its best in Richfield Township!

Michael Rehm

St. Helen

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