This page includes information about assessing, residential appraising, and the Board of Review.
Board of Review
The Board of Review is required to meet in March to hear assessment and classification appeals. The Board of Review may also be required to meet in July and/or December to correct clerical errors or hear Principal Residence Exemption appeals. Members are appointed to two year terms, with each term beginning on January 1st of an odd-numbered year. There are no term limits. Any correspondence or telephone messages for the Board of Review should be directed to the Township Office. The Township Assessor or Supervisor are directly responsible for this Board.
Members: Jim Momber (Chairman), Chuck Jakems and Mary Wilcome.
Calculating your Property Tax
To calculate your property tax, use the formula (TAXABLE VALUE) x (MILLAGE RATE) = (TAX). As an example, take a principal residence in the Comstock Park School District. If your 2014 taxable value is $52,576 and the 2014 millage rate is 31.6289 mills, your 2014 total property tax bill can be estimated as: $52,576 X (31.6289/1000) = $1,662.92. Keep in mind that the method shown here will result in an estimate of your total tax for the entire year. The same method can be used to estimate your summer and winter bill separately. Just insert the summer millage rate to estimate your summer tax bill and insert the winter millage rate to estimate your winter tax.
The taxable value of your property is determined via a formula and, in most cases, is limited by the rate of inflation. This number is calculated by the assessor and is reported to you on your assessment change notice, mailed in February.
The millage rate is the total number of mills being levied, divided by 1000. Millage rates are calculated in the spring for the summer collection and in the fall for the winter collection. Millage rates vary from year to year, due to a number of factors. Significant increases in millage rates are the result of voter approval, while decreases are due to the expiration of a previously approved millage.
Finding your Taxable Value
Taxable value is the number upon which your property tax bill is calculated. It is determined each year by comparing assessed and capped values and choosing the lower of the two. Assessed value is the assessor’s estimate of 50% of the market value of a piece of property. Capped value is determined by the formula [(prior year taxable value) - (losses)] x [1 + (lesser of CPI or 5%)] + (additions).
In most cases, losses are equal to the taxable value of any buildings, or portions thereof, that were removed or destroyed in the previous year. In most cases, additions are equal to the assessed value of any new buildings, or portions thereof, that were built in the previous year. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the inflation rate that was experienced in the State of Michigan in the prior year. This figure is determined by the State's treasury Department.
Once the capped value has been determined, the assessor compares it to the assessed value. The taxable value is the lower of the two.
As an example, assume your 2013 Taxable Value was $50,123, the 2014 CPI is 1.6% and your 2014 Assessed Value is $55,000. Included in that figure is a new deck that was built in 2013. The assessor estimates that it adds $2,400 to your property value (so, assessed value of deck = $2,400 x 50% = $1,200). Given these facts you can calculate your taxable value as:
2014 Assessed Value = $55,000
2013 Capped Value = ($50,123 – 0) x (1 + .016) + $1,200 = ($50,123 x 1.016) + $1,200 = $52,125
2014 Taxable Value = (the lower value of either Assessed Value or Capped Value) = $52,125
Finding your Millage Rate
Property taxes, which are billed and collected by Alpine Township, are a combined collection of taxes levied by several different entities, shown in the millage rates table that HAS BEEN MOVED TO TREASURER'S PAGE. Summer bills are mailed around July 1st and due September 14th. Winter bills are mailed around December 1st and due February 14th. Most property owners in Alpine Township are required to pay the majority of their taxes in the summer because Comstock Park and Kenowa Hills School Districts collect their entire millage in the summertime, while Sparta's is more balanced.
Summer taxes may be deferred until February 14th of each tax year if the household income from the previous year was less than $25,000 and you qualify under one of the following classifications:
Eligible Service Person, Veteran
Eligible Widow or Widower
Senior Citizen (age 62 or older)
Totally and Permanently Disabled
All summer and winter tax bills are held by the Township until March 1st
Alpine's Property Database
Property owners, realtors and appraisers can use the property database to find detailed property information, sketches and pictures.
41080 - Comstock Park
41145 - Kenowa Hills
41240 - Sparta
A - Agricultural
C1, C2, C3 - Commercial zones
I1 and I2 - Industrial zones
OS - Office Services
RA - Rural Agriculture
R1 - Low density residential
R2 - Medium density residential
R3 - High density residential (Apartments)
R4 - Mobile Home Communities
All of the forms discussed below can be filed with the Township's Assessor and are available in the PDF format.
The Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit (2368) exempts a property owner from paying 18 mills of local school operating tax on the owner’s principal residence. Vacant land that is contiguous to the owner’s principal residence is also eligible. An owner is required to file a Request to Rescind/Withdraw Principal Residence Exemption (2602) when he sells or is no longer using a property as a principal residence. Property or buildings used for commercial or industrial purposes aren't eligible for the Principal Residence Exemption.
Property classified as agricultural is also exempt from 18 mills of local school operating tax. If a property isn't classified as agricultural, it may qualify for the exemption if more than 50% of the acreage is devoted to an agricultural use. To request a qualified agricultural exemption on property not classified as agricultural, an owner must file a Claim For Farmland Exemption From Some School Property Taxes (2599). When a property is no longer qualified agricultural property, the owner is required to file a Request To Rescind Qualified Agricultural Property Exemption (2743). Property or buildings used for commercial or industrial purposes are not eligible to receive the agricultural exemption.
State law caps or limits the rate of increase in your property's taxable value (taxable value is used to calculate your tax bill). The taxable value, in most cases, can't rise faster than the rate of inflation, with the exception of value added due to an improvement. Another exception to the cap is a transfer of ownership. In the tax year following a transfer of ownership, the property's taxable value will become uncapped and become equal to the assessed value of the property. The assessed value is the assessor’s estimate of 50% of market value.
As a result of this uncapping, a new property owner is required to file the Property Transfer Affidavit (2766) within 45 days of the transfer of ownership. Starting on the 46th day after the ownership transfer, there is a $5/day penalty, $200 maximum, which begins to accrue.
Failure to File Necessary Paperwork
If you fail to file a Principal Residence Exemption claim when your property is eligible, you will pay too much tax. If you fail to rescind the exemption when the property no longer qualifies, you could be billed by the State, County or Local Treasurer for additional taxes, penalty, and interest. Failure to file a property transfer affidavit can have far more serious consequences than the $5/day penalty. If several years have elapsed before the transfer is discovered, the owner will be billed for all of the additional taxes which should have been levied each year since the time the uncapping should have occurred, including penalty and interest.