County Property Values Looking to Break Downward Trend

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Anthony Lewis has live in the same home in Lansing for 13 years and as he waits for this year's property assessment, he's not sure what to expect.

"You have your fingers crossed, hoping that it goes up or at least stabilizes," he said.

He's not too confident because, like many for the last few years, he's seen his property value decline.

According to Ingham County Register of Deeds, Curtis Hertel Jr., it's been the norm across the county since the housing crash.

"Over the last few years, property values have dropped in Ingham County by 12.5 percent," he said.

It equals a little more than one billion dollars in losses since 2009, $300 million between 2011 and 2012 alone, a huge concern.
However, Hertel is also looking ahead and early indicators show good things for 2013.

"My office is much busier than we used to be, which is a good thing for the housing market," he said. "We're getting more documents in, we're seeing more transfers of property and we're seeing people actually being able to sell homes."

Clinton County is already seeing those numbers come in.

"People are beginning to pay what they assessors were estimating they would pay for property," said Barbara Moss, Clinton County Equalization Director. "In fact, they've paid maybe just slightly more."

Moss says the preliminary numbers for 2013 show taxable value up nearly one percent, for a total of around $33 million. Equalized value is also up seven percent.

It's the first increase since 2009. Good news for not only those who live in Clinton County, but for the county itself.

"The taxable value has stabilized and the revenues that the county has to spend will be about what they were, last year, and we're hoping this trend continues and the revenues will increase," said Moss.

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