Property taxes in the city of Westland, Michigan, are based on an assessment by the city assessor. The assessor determines the value of property based on the size of the property, the characteristics of any structures on the property, the last sale price and other variables including comparison properties in similar areas. The assessed value, in combination with the millage, results in a property tax.
When the city of Westland assesses a piece of property, one of the variables is the lot size. If the property tax associated with a particular piece of property is challenged, the lot size should be confirmed with the state's tax maps, which can be accessed online or at the City of Westland Assessor's Office. The state of Michigan offers data on more than 66,000 plats, which are maps that display divisions of land areas.
The Westland Assessor appraises the value of a piece of property using various pieces of information. The factors include similar real estate sales, the costs associated with construction, potential rental incomes, how much a piece of property costs to operate, interest rates and others depending on the nature of the property.
In Michigan, the increase in a given year's assessment is capped. The cap was a result of a proposal approved by Michigan voters in 1994. The law, which went into effect in 1995, capped the annual increase of the value of a piece of property at 5 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is lower in that particular year.
A resident of the Westland can appeal an assessment in an effort to reduce property taxes on a particular lot in the city. Citizens can argue an appeal in front of the Board of Review, a three-person body that is made up of three residents from Westland who are appointed by the mayor. The Board of Review meets three times annually to hear appeals.
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