Office of the Bay County Treasurer

Weston Prince - Treasurer

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite 602
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5122
Voice: (989) 895-4285
Fax: (989) 895-4082

Appeal Your Assessment

Assessment notices are mailed out to property owners on March 1 of every year by the city or township assessor.  This notice identifies the property's assessed and taxable value, which is used to calculate the amount of taxes paid for that year.

Understand your assessment

  • True Cash Value – The market value of your home. It may not match the actual selling price.
  • State Equalized Value (SEV) – Half the true cash value
  • Taxable Value (TV) – Value used to calculate your property taxes.  Will equal the SEV the year after you purchase your property, but future increases are limited.
  • Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) – Should be 100% if this is your home and you don’t rent out part of your home to another person or business.  Qualified agricultural property is treated the same as PRE for exemption purposes.

Do you disagree with the valuation?

  • The only chance to appeal is at the March Board of Review. See info on the assessment notice to determine the date and process.  You can also contact your local assessor for more information. 
  • Find out if you are required to attend in person or if appeals by letter are accepted
  • You must be able to propose an alternative value and support how you arrived at this value

Preparation for Board of Review appointment

  • Ask your assessor for a copy of your Property Record Card (it may be available online).  Begin by reviewing the information to be sure it matches the characteristics of your home.
  • Gather information about sales for similar houses in your neighborhood.  Many cities, villages, and townships have online records that will help you find nearby sales.
  • Some people hire a real estate appraiser. Be aware that you will have to pay for this appraisal and they may follow a methodology that differs from the one the assessor uses.
  • Your valuation cannot be adjusted due to poor maintenance.

Bring documentation to your appeal

  • Complete a Board of Review Petition (L-4035). Bring 4 copies to your appointment.
  • It’s an open meeting.  You can listen to other appeals.
  • You can bring someone along (or even appoint someone to represent you).
  • Remember that each person has limited time, so be sure to make your point clearly and concisely
  • Ask when you will hear back.  The deadline is the 1st Monday in June, but notices usually arrive sooner.

Disagree with the Board of Review's determination?

  • You can appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.  Your Board of Review decision should include basic instructions.
  • The appeal must be made by July 31.  The appeal is made in writing but you may have an opportunity later to attend a hearing.
  • In the meantime, it is usually best to pay your property taxes based on the current assessment:
    • You will receive bills on July 1 and December 1
    • If you pay on time, you avoid the risk of interest charges if you lose
    • If you succeed in your appeal and have already paid your taxes, you will receive a refund of any overpayment
    • Remember that there is a possibility that your assessment may be increased by either the Board of Review or the Michigan Tax Tribunal

Assessment Appeal Brochure (PDF) - Coming Soon!