The Equalization Department’s duty is to ensure that the real and personal property is assessed at uniform levels between townships and cities within the county. The County equalizes separately each property classification: personal property, agricultural, developmental, residential, commercial, industrial, and timber cutover real property. This is done by adding to or deducting from the valuation of personal property and each class of real property in each township and city an amount that represents 50% of true cash value as required by State statute.
In the residential class, the department uses sales data from a 24-month or 12-month period. Staff directly compares it to assessments to determine whether the residential property class has been equally and uniformly assessed at 50% of true cash value. Appraisal studies are done in the other classes of real property where sufficient sales are not available. In these classes, a sample is selected to be representative of the entire class of property. Professionals then set up property record cards, collect the field data and determine the true cash value of each property selected. The studies are then subject to review, audit and change by the Michigan State Tax Commission. The Equalization Department does not determine individual assessments or taxable values. Instead, the appraisals made by the Equalization Staff are used to determine the total true cash value of each classification of property.
A reviewer conducts a review of a sample of the personal property in each township and city to determine whether the personal property in the respective townships and cities has been equally and uniformly assessed at 50% of the true cash value.
By June 20th annually the county equalization director reports to Michigan Treasury the taxable value of ad valorem and special acts personal property for each taxing jurisdiction within the county. This information in used in the reimbursement calculations for the Small Taxpayer and the Eligible Manufacturing Personal Property Exemption Loss.
The department also calculates millage rollback fractions required by law (Headlee, Truth in Assessing, Truth in County Equalization and Truth in Taxation) and provides assistance to local assessing officers and other organization when requested.
The Equalization Department produces the following reports found on this website, please see links above:
IFT Report (found towards the back of the Equalization Report)
School District Report(found towards the back of the Equalization Report)
Top Twenty Taxpayers (found towards the back of the Equalization Report)
Millage Rollback Form L-4028
Tax Rate Request Form L-4029
Cass County Equalization Department
120 N. Broadway, Suite 111
Cassopolis, MI 49031
Tami Stewart, MAAO