Mid-Michigan Property Values Continue to Decline

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It's a busy time for East Lansing's city assessor. Assessments have been mailed and the staff are getting ready for visits from property owners during the assessor's review sessions.

"If they are concerned about their evaluation being too high, they can certainly present those concerns to us and we can address them," said East Lansing City Assessor David Lee.

Lee says most homeowners will see only slight changes in their assessment this year, but the overall property value continued its downward trend. Prices are expected to drop by about 1.5% compared to 2012. For the city, that means less revenue from taxes. Other jurisdictions that levy taxes in East Lansing are also affected, including Ingham County and local schools.

The City of Lansing's assessor is also reporting a slight decline in property value this year. Revenue from property taxes in 2013 is projected to be $37 million, down about $1.5 million from 2012.

"When you have property taxes a major source of revenue for your general operations, when there's a decline, it does create a challenge," said Lansing City Assessor William Fowler.

Other communities are also seeing common trends. Meridian Township is about the same with East Lansing and the City of Jackson is seeing a decline of 6%. However, the curve could be turning.

"Projections for tax year 2014 is that we will flatten out," said Fowler.

Assessors say housing prices may have hit rock bottom and it could be time for an upward move.

Property owners can appeal their assessment with the Board of Review. Call your local assessor's office for more information and to make an appointment.

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