Property Tax & Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between real and personal property taxes?
A. Real property generally is interpreted to include land plus the buildings and fixtures permanently attached to it. Personal property generally is interpreted to be that not permanently affixed to land: e.g., equipment, furniture, tools, computers. In Michigan, only businesses pay the personal property tax. If you had business personal property in the township of Carmel on December 31 (Tax Day), you are responsible for summer and winter taxes for the following year, even if your business closed during the year.

Q. How is property assessed?
A. Real property assessments are based on market values and are assessed yearly by the Assessor’s Department. Assessment notices are mailed to taxpayers of record in February of each year. An important part of assessing property is the appeal process. Real property assessments can be appealed at the March Board of Review by calling the assessor’s office to make an appointment and receiving the proper paperwork to file.
Personal property assessments originate from a filing of a statement by the taxpayer. If a personal property statement is not furnished the assessor, he/she is authorized to assess such amount of personal property as deemed reasonable and just. The business property owner is required by law to report the value of property owned on a personal property statement form provided by the local assessor. Assessment notices are mailed to business personal property owners in February of each year. Personal property assessments can also be appealed at the March Board of Review.
For more information on property assessments contact the assessor. or (517) 543-9650 Ext. 4.

Q. How is my tax rate determined?
A. In the summer tax cycle, the State Education Tax levy is authorized by the State of Michigan. The Eaton County Board of Commissioners approves the County Tax Rate.
The State Education Taxes collected are applied to the State of Michigan operating fiscal year from October 1 through September 30 of the next year.
The County tax collected provides monies for the operating fiscal year that commences October 1 through September 30 of the next year.
Winter tax bills, levied December 1, have the balance of the County levy. Mileages are also approved by the Charlotte District Library Board for a fiscal year December 1 to November 30; and the schools for school operating and voted levies for use during the fiscal year July 1 to June 30.

Q. What is the difference between assessed value and taxable value?
A. Taxable value (TV) is the value used to compute your tax bill and applies to real property only. “TV” is determined yearly as the LESSER of assessed value (market based as determined by assessor) and capped value. Capped value is the prior year’s taxable value, less taxable value of losses, “capped” by an increase of the lesser of 5% or the rate of inflation, plus assessed value of additions. Taxable value becomes uncapped when property is sold or transferred.

Q. What is a principal residence exemption and how do I know if I have one?
A. Principal residence exemption entitles the owner of real property an exemption from the 18* mills of school operating tax for the percentage of taxable value used as a primary residence. The homestead exemption must be claimed on form 2368 Homeowners Principal Residence Exemption and filed with the Township Assessor’s Office. The principal residence exemption for your property will be included on your assessment notice expressed as a percentage. The principal residence exemption percentage will also be displayed on your summer and winter tax bill. A principal residence exemption of 100% means your property is exempted from 100% of school operating taxes. Voted school bonded debt mileages are NOT exempted.
Principal residence exemption forms are available from the Township Assessor’s Office or on line from the Department of Treasury under local government, property tax forms @
For questions on your principal residence exemption, please contact the Assessor’s Office at (517) 543-9650. Ext 4. *or less subject to Headlee Amendment roll back.

Q. How can I receive a homestead credit or have my property taxes reduced?
A. The credits available do not originate from the Township. The State of Michigan has a homestead property tax credit that can be calculated annually as part of the state income tax filing. In addition, a separate calculation is available for senior citizens for their homestead property taxes. More information on these credits can be obtained at the website or by calling 1(800) 482-7000. Information regarding principal residence exemptions and poverty exemptions are available from the Assessor’s Office.

Q. How can I receive a summer tax deferment?
A. Summer taxes may be deferred until February 14 if your total household income is less than $40,000 and you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Senior Citizen, age 62 by December 1 of a given year
  • Paraplegic, quadriplegic
  • Eligible service person, veteran, widow or widower
  • Blind person
  • totally and permanently disabled

Forms must be filed by September 14 in the Treasurer’s Office, phone (517 543-9650, or may be accessed at, local government, forms, property tax forms Form 471 Application for Deferment of Summer Taxes.

Q. When can I expect to receive a tax bill and when is it due?
A. The summer tax bills are mailed by July 1 and are due without late collection fee by September 14, unless that date falls on a weekend in which case the due date is the next business day. The winter tax bills are mailed by December 1 and are due the following February 14, unless that date falls on a weekend in which case the due date is the next business day. The due date will always be clearly indicated on your tax bill. Payments must be received by the due date or late collection fees will be assessed. Postmarks will be accepted as the date of payment.

Q. I didn’t receive a tax bill, what should I do?
A. Call our office at (517) 543-9650. Please note, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay the taxes by the due date regardless of whether a bill was received or not.

Q. My bill has someone else’s name on it, what should I do?
A. First make sure it is your bill, i.e., check the permanent parcel number and/or legal description. If it is your bill, most likely there has been a recent ownership change and the taxpayer information hasn’t been updated. If this is the case, you may pay on the bill you received. Again, please note it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay the taxes by the due date.

Q. How do I change the mailing address for my tax billing?
A. The Township Assessor maintains mailing addresses. Please call township office at (517) 543-9650 or e-mail to request any mailing address changes.