Bureau of Equalization
To provide for a fair system of property assessment and taxation and to provide professional mapping services for all cities and townships in Kent County.
The Bureau of Equalization carries out both property appraisal and mapping functions on behalf of taxpayers and municipalities in Kent County. The Bureau has two divisions, the Appraisal Division and the Property Description and Mapping Division.
The Appraisal Division equalizes property values annually among 21 townships and nine cities so property taxes remain uniformly fair across Kent County. The Division reports annually to the Board of Commissioners on the apportionment of millages within a 50-mill cap among various jurisdictions. Division staff audit property transfers to ensure that the taxable and state equalized value remain identical for the following year and assist local units of government with property assessments, especially of complex agricultural, industrial, commercial and developmental sites. The Division also provides information to local governments to prepare cases for the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the appellate body on property tax matters.
Property Description and Mapping Division
The Property Description and Mapping Division creates and maintains property tax maps for all parcels of land in Kent County. The staff also updates all property descriptions for area municipalities. Map products and property information records are created for general reference by local municipalities, title companies, realtors, real estate developers, appraisal firms, law firms, surveyors, environmental companies, architectural and engineering firms and the general public for many purposes.
- Annually project property values and study the level of assessment by property class through appraisal and/or sales studies and apply equalization factors, if necessary, to comply with state law
- Provide professional tax mapping service so that all land in the county subject to the property tax is taxed once and is not subjected to double taxation
- Preserve public survey monuments for public use and preservation of the Public Land Survey System