Assessing

The Equalization Director for Oakland County is contracted by the City to act as the Assessor for the City of Bloomfield Hills. Our Assessor can be reached at 248-858-0776. The Assessor handles questions regarding property appraisals and taxable valuations, as well as the Board of Review and appeals procedures for valuations.

Taxing jurisdictions use millage rates and taxable values of properties to determine the amount of annual property tax a homeowner must pay. Millage rates are comprised of mills, where each mill represents 1 dollar of taxes per 1,000 dollars of taxable value. The taxable value of property is usually less than the state equalized value (SEV) of the property, which is approximately ½ of the estimated market value of the property. Millage rates are set by each local taxing jurisdiction (i.e. City of Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills Schools, intermediate schools, community colleges, and Oakland County.) Each jurisdiction is enabled to levy millages through the authority granted by state law and, where they exist, local charters and voted millages.

Changing Assessments
There are several ways that assessments can change:
  • The Assessor utilizes various sales studies to adjust the assessed value every year. This provides uniform assessments by making each property reflect the marketplace for similar properties that have been sold in previous years. On-site appraisals, physical condition and other factors may also affect appraisal amounts.
  • Individual homeowners who disagree with their assessments may appeal to the Board of Review. Call the Assessor’s office at 248-858-0776 to schedule an appointment.
The State Equalized Value (SEV) and market value of properties always change along with the market for property in a given area. The Taxable Value of property is usually lower than the SEV, because of the "cap" on the growth of Taxable Value, which is a result of the passage of Proposal A by the voters of Michigan in 1994. Proposal A limits annual increases in taxable value to 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.

This limit on taxable value assumes no major changes to the property like new structures or additions, and normally results in the taxable value being significantly lower than the SEV. Prospective property buyers should be aware that the sale of property brings about the "uncapping effect" on the Taxable Value of the property. Then the limit on the growth of Taxable Value is applied to future increases according to Proposal A, or until there is another sale.

Board of Review
The Finance and Treasury Department coordinates with the Oakland County Assessor for the 3 annual Boards of Review (the second and third Saturdays in March, and a Tuesday in July and December). The March Board of Review typically handles appeals in which the property owner disputes the amount of the Assessed Value of their property. Market comparisons are usually prepared by the appellant, and include at least 3 to 5 comparable properties. The July and December Board of Review sessions typically focus on mid-year changes in the status of a property for homesteads and uncapping or clerical errors. To prepare for the Board of Review, consult with our Assessor.