Determining a Property's Value
Determining a property's value is the Assessor's job, and is required for every piece of property, no matter how large or small. Also, each year the Assessor has to do the whole thing all over again, because the market value of almost everything changes from one year to the next.
The Assessor is required by state law to assess at 50% of true cash value all assessable property, as of December 31. This includes:
- Commercial properties
- Personal property (machinery and equipment for commercial and industrial properties)
- Vacant land
- Sales Comparison Approach: The first way is to find properties like yours, which have sold recently. Their selling prices must be analyzed very carefully to get at the true picture. One property may have sold for more because the buyer was in a hurry to occupy the property and would pay any price. Another may have sold for less because the owner needed cash right away and took the first offer.
- Cost Approach: The second way the Assessor values property is based on how much money it would take, at current material and labor costs, to replace your property with one just like it. If your property is not new, the Assessor must also determine how much it has depreciated due to normal wear and tear or other negative factors. In addition, the Assessor must estimate how much a lot like yours would be worth if vacant.
- Income Approach: The third approach measures a property's value by its ability to generate net income. In most cases, this approach is not used for residential property unless the home is used as a rental.
How to Read Your Assessment Notice
For instance, if you add a garage to your home, the assessed value would increase. However, should your property be permanently damaged by fire, the assessed value would decrease. Property owners have a responsibility for reporting any changes to their property that would affect values. If you obtained a building permit, our office will be notified by the Building Inspector's Office.
The passage of Proposal A in March of 1994 drastically changed the property assessment and taxation system. Some of the changes are hard to understand. One such change is the “taxable value cap.” The language in Proposal A stated that starting in 1995, the taxable value can be increased only by the amount of the Consumer Price Index (C.P.I.) or 5% (whichever is less) and for construction changes. However, other laws still require that the state equalized value (S.E.V.) is to be 50% of the current market value. Since 1982, the S.E.V. and assessed value have been virtually the same. The capped value and the S.E.V. could be totally different.
As a result, there will be three different “values” recorded for each property: state equalized value, capped value, and taxable value.
The Assessor is still required to estimate the market value of every property and record 50% of that as the assessed value (eventually referred to as S.E.V.). In addition, the Assessor is also required to multiply individually each previous year's taxable value by the Consumer Price Index (C.P.I.) to calculate each individual capped value. The lesser of the assessed value and the capped value will be the taxable value for that property. Structural items not previously assessed, for example, new construction, are also added to taxable values.
In most cases, a property's taxable value will not be increased more that the previous year’s taxable value multiplied by the C.P.I. Taxable value can not be higher than the S.E.V.
Taxable value can still increase even if assessed value decreases as long as taxable value does not exceed assessed value.This “capping” process will continue annually until the ownership is transferred.
The taxable value will be used for the calculation of property taxes. When a transfer of ownership occurs, the taxable value the following year will be based on the S.E.V. that is calculated annually in the year following the sale.
- State Equalized Value (S.E.V.) equals 50% of the Appraised Market Value.
- Capped Value equals last year's taxable value increased by the Consumer Price Index (with a maximum of 5%) plus construction changes.
- Taxable Value equals the lesser of the State Equalized and Capped Values. The Taxable Value will be used for the calculation of property taxes.
All properties do not change in value to the same degree. Many factors influence values. Those properties with water or scenic views, for example, may well increase more rapidly than others or maintain value as others decline.
Remember: A general increase in assessment can be negated on the tax bill by a general decrease of the millage rate.
A Building Permit Application (plus any additional forms linked below) is required for any work to be done on commercial or residential buildings including:
- New structures:
- Sheds greater than 200 square feet
- Pole Barn
- Deck/Porch/Paved Terrace/Patio
- Structural changes to an existing structure
- Roof installation or repairs (two layers allowed only)
- Siding installation or repairs
- Window installation or repairs
- Exterior door installation or repairs
- Furnace installation or repairs
- Plumbing installation or repairs (including hot water heater installation or repairs)
- Water or sewer line installation or repairs
- Mechanical installation or repairs (including air conditioner installation or repairs)
- Electrical installation or repairs (including air conditioner installation or repairs)
- Fences taller than 6 feet
- Swimming pools and hot tubs
- Irrigation systems
You do NOT need a building permit for replacement of existing fixtures (cabinets, counters, flooring, painting, awnings attached to the home, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, switches, and outlets.
Please include the following with your Building Permit Application:
- A plot plan to scale (i.e. one-inch equals 20 feet). The plot plan may be hand drawn. Certified property survey or mortgage survey are acceptable. The plot plan must include the following items:
- All property lines and dimensions
- Existing structures, fences, driveways, and dimensions
- Proposed structures, fences, driveways, and dimensions
- Easements and dimensions, if applicable
- Three hardcopy sets of building plans (commercial builders should also include a digital copy) including the following:
- Footings or foundation type and size
- Front, rear and side elevations (views) of the proposed building with accurate elevations
- A complete floor plan, which indicates accurate dimension of room sizes, use of space, header, window, and door sizes
- A wall sectional that identifies the stud spacing, insulation type, interior finish, joist spacing and type of flooring, all structural supports, complete specifications for pre-engineered trusses, and all other engineered wood products (I-joist, LVL, and Glue lam)
- Copy of builder's license
The requirements for a deck, porch, or paved terrace can be found in the Residential Deck Plan Review Checklist.
Signs allowed without a permit include:
- Directional signs less than or equal to four square feet (one for each public entrance from a collector/arterial street up to a maximum of two per zoning lot/development)
- Flags bearing national, state, municipal, educational institution or organization as approved by the Chief Building Official
- Nameplates less than or equal to two square feet
- Temporary special event signs up to 30 days per year (cannot be in right-of-way, may be up to 10% of the front face area of the building)
For new detached single-family dwellings, the following information shall be submitted for review:
- Three copies of structural plans
- Plot Plan and Grading Plan
- More information: Section 5.41 and 5.42 of the Engineering Standards & Design Specifications
- Before a Certificate of Occupancy is released, a grading certificate (as built) under Section 5.43 of the Engineering Standards & Design Specifications will be required from the grading engineer or land surveyor
- Residential Lot Stabilization Policy
- Floodplains, Wetlands, Easements: Distances from any structures on the lot or parcel
- More information: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Service Center
- Health Permit for Septic Tank and Well: Washtenaw County Health Department
- Public Water and Sewer Tap Application: Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA)
- Driveway Approach Permit: Washtenaw County Road Commission
- Proof of Ownership: Tax bill, print out verification from Assessment Department, deed, land contract in addition to a statement from owner stating no objections to the erection of a residence on this land
- New Split: Please make sure that this division is recorded with the Assessment Department
- Pre-manufactured/Modular Built Homes: A certificate of approval must be submitted from the State Construction Code or Department of HUD if the home is “pre-manufactured/modular” built
When contracting work to be done to your home:
- Always hire a State of Michigan licensed contractor, licensed in the trade in which they are doing work
- Always have your contractor pull permits before the work has started
- Always make sure that your contractor shows you the copy of the permit and displays it in a visible location
- Verify a Contractor's License: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
- Check with the Building Department for any outstanding concerns/workmanship regarding your choice of contractor.
The following items are required by Code and Building Department policy. Requirements may be adjusted at the sole discretion of the Chief Building Official or his designee based on the totality of circumstances in the interest of public safety and future land use commitments.
The Contractor must sign all demolition permits. The Contractor must be licensed by the State and must provide proof of insurance.
The contractor must notify YCUA, DTE and any applicable franchise utilities and obtain utility termination releases prior to applying for a permit (electricity termination, natural gas cut & cap, and water/sanitary sewer).
- Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA) (water/sewer) 734.484.4600
- The water service will be shut off by YCUA. The water line shall be cut off completely on the house side of the water stop device.
- The sanitary sewer must be disconnected and plugged at the front property line using a plug and a concrete encasement around the plug. All work is to be done by the contractor.
- Excavations for items above shall not be backfilled until inspected and the Township makes a record of the two service locations.
- DTE Energy (electric/gas) 800.477.4747
- Electricity and natural gas terminations shall be completed by DTE.
- Comcast (cable) 888.266.2278
- Ameritech (phone) 800.244.4444
If removal of a section of sidewalk is necessary, the contractor shall replace it. Once the above is done and the permit is issued, then the contractor may start work. Demolition shall include the following:
- Remove ALL buildings completely including primary, accessory and temporary structures.
- Remove all footings, foundations, basement walls and piers.
- All debris must be removed from the site. No demolition debris can be buried in the basement or any other place below grade.
- Clean fill dirt shall be used.
- The site shall be cleaned and graded for final inspections. The approved graded site shall be seeded to grow quality weed-free grass to stabilize soils on site.
- Remove all concrete and asphalt walks, retaining walls, driveways, patios, and slabs from the site. This includes parking lots at commercial/industrial property.
- Soil erosion control measures may need to be installed when near a body of water.
- Post-demolition conditions: all stored vehicles, equipment and other items shall be removed from the property.
- All electric service boxes and pedestals situated away from structures shall be properly terminated and removed from the site.
- At least two inspections shall be required:
- Open hole
- Final grade and soil stabilization
The following specifications, drawings and details must be submitted:
- Completed, signed and sealed architectural plans, structural plans and material specifications of all work. The first page must be stamped by a State of Michigan licensed professional.
- A site plan including:
- Size and location of all new construction and all existing structures on the site
- Distances from lot lines
- Established street grades and proposed finish grades
- Architectural plans and specifications to include Cover page with:
- Description of uses and the proposed use group(s) for all portions of the building. The design approach for mixed-uses (as applicable).
- Proposed type of construction of the building.
- Fully dimensioned drawings to determine areas and building height.
- Adequate details and dimensions to evaluate means of egress, including occupant loads for each floor, exit arrangement and sizes, corridors, doors, stairs, etc.
- Exit signs/means of egress lighting, including power supply.
- Accessibility provisions.
- Description and details of proposed special occupancies such as a covered mall, high-rise, mezzanine, atrium, public garage, etc.
- Adequate details to evaluate fire-resistant construction requirements, including data substantiating required ratings.
- Details of plastic, insulation, and safety glazing installation.
- Details of required fire protection systems.
- Intended occupant load.
- A complete code summary.
- Structural plans, specifications, and engineering details to include:
- Soils report indicating the soil type and recommended allowable bearing pressure and foundation type.
- Signed and sealed structural design calculations, which support the member sizes on the drawings.
- Local design load criteria, including frost depth.
- Earthquake seismic zone/effective peak acceleration coefficient.
- Details of foundations and superstructure.
- Provisions for required special inspections. (List agency)
- Applicable construction standards and material specifications (i.e., masonry, concrete, wood, steel, etc.).
If you are a part of a HOA, please contact your HOA to make sure you are in compliance with their rules as well.
Dog licenses are available for purchase in person at the following locations:
Tilden R. Stumbo Civic Center
7200 S. Huron River Dr.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
OR Mail the application with proof of rabies vaccination to the address above with a check or money order. Your rabies certificate will be returned to you with your new license.
Yes, it's the law! All dogs in Ypsilanti Township are required to be licensed and to wear a license tag at all times. Licensing can help reunite a lost or stolen dog with its owner and provides assurance that the dog is properly vaccinated against rabies.
If you live on a rental property, you must have your landlord’s permission to keep a dog.
A regular dog license is $3 for 1 year, $6 for 2 years, or $9 for 3 years (dependent when the rabies expires). You must show proof of current rabies vaccination to purchase or renew a license.
Stray and nuisance dogs that are impounded at the Humane Society will not be released without proof of rabies vaccination and a current license. Microchip identification may also be required. The fee to license an impounded dog is $20 for a sterilized nuisance dog and $120 for an unsterilized nuisance dog.
The civil fine for owning an unlicensed dog ranges from $100 - $500 in addition to the licensing fee.
If someone finds your dog and reports the license tag number to the Treasurer's Office, we will use the owner name and contact information on file to notify you that your dog has been found and where it is located.
The Humane Society of Huron Valley is also the designated animal shelter for Washtenaw County. Stray dogs picked up by the police or animal control are taken to the HSHV shelter. Residents who find lost dogs may also drop them off at the shelter.
Contact Animal Control: 734.994.2911
The information in the reports is public information. We will be glad to provide it upon request.
Emergency Medical Reports:
The incident information is public information and will be provided upon request. Any specific patient information is protected as confidential medical information by Federal regulation (HIPPA) and is only available to the actual patient or with a Court ordered Subpoena. You need to contact an attorney to obtain that information.
We will need some information to honor your request:
- The Date of the incident.
- The Location of the incident (a street address or if it was at an intersection, the two crossroads).
- Stop by the Fire Department and provide us with the information.
- Send us a letter with the report information requesting a copy of the report to:
222 S. Ford Blvd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
- The animal is not dangerous to the Fire Fighters attempting the rescue.
- The animal is not in a position that requires endangering the Fire Fighters during the rescue (for instance in a confined space, on unstable ice or in water that is not accessible from a safe place, or in another position which would be dangerous).
- Our resources are available.
We also have some other recourses available to us through professional Animal Rescue services. The department is willing to assist with the rescue within established safety guidelines. The Humane Society of Huron Valley also does some animal rescues.
Contact Humane Society of Huron Valley: 734.662.5585 (ext 112)
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office
Animal control service is provided by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and is a statutory responsibility of all Michigan counties.
Contact Animal Control: 734.994.2911
If anyone is feeling ill:
- Determine how many occupants are ill and determine their symptoms.
- Call 911
- Do not re-enter the home without the approval of a fire department representative.
- Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the detector.
If no one is feeling ill:
- Silence the alarm.
- Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion (i.e. furnace and fireplace).
- Ventilate the house with fresh air by opening doors and windows.
- Call a qualified professional to investigate the source of the possible CO buildup.
ISO's Public Protection Classification Program (PPC) plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. PPC information is used to determine coverage for personal or commercial property insurance.