Bless ‘Em All
The men and women who give of their time to serve as volunteers or semi-volunteers in local government posts deserve our heartfelt thanks. Without their donated work, county and township services surely would be more expensive. Policies and decisions made by friends and neighbors, however, at times can be somewhat strange.
Michigan homeowners may appeal their real estate taxes every March. Sandy and I did that last March. We developed, we thought, a well-reasoned and documented case for reducing our total bill by 18 percent.
The strongest part of our argument was that we bought the property for 16 percent less than the assessed value. We didn’t know the sellers, and no financing games were played to artificially lower the price. We were eager to get a house in the neighborhood, and to be sure we had a deal we offered several thousand dollars more than the property was worth on the open market.
We had a congenial meeting with the township tax review board. All three gentlemen own homes near ours. They courteously listened to our presentation and looked over our documents. More heads nodded than shook as we stated our case. We were pleased with the meeting. We were confident a large tax reduction would result.
About a month later the verdict arrived by mail. It consisted of a curt statement and a checked box informing us that our home’s assessed value was correct and our appeal was denied. We were astonished.
Last week, township officials mailed a letter to us and every other homeowner announcing that assessed valuations had been reduced by 17 percent. We were amazed. Our local leaders must have had a property valuation epiphany.