Township Assessor - James Totten
Welcome to the Birch Run Township Assessors Department!
Assessor: James Totten, MAAO3
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 9:00am-11:30am, 12:00pm-5:00pm
Our duty at the Birch Run Township Assessor’s Department is to calculate the value of properties within Birch Run Township as accurately as possible. This is achieved through many different methods, which are applied consistently and equally throughout the township, at the direction of the State Tax Commission of Michigan. Below is a summary of the work we provide the township, information on how to appeal a value that you feel is not correct, and useful forms for our office. If you have any questions please feel free to stop in and see us or give us a call.
How are property assessments, SEVs, and taxable values determined? How do I obtain information/data on properties?
Property assessment and tax data of the Township of Birch Run is available for viewing by the public at the Township Hall. This information can also be viewed on the Saginaw County web site. The link can be found at the top left of this page under "Assessor's Links". Once inside you can search by different criteria including property address, and parcel ID. Such data as photo images, property sales data, residential floor area, year built, land area, property tax data (billed and paid), property ownership, homestead data, and various residential amenity data (i.e. bathroom count, fireplaces, etc) is available for viewing. However, as the Township Assessor is constantly updating the information, please check with the Township if there may be any material changes. It is planned that all data will be up to date on the web within two years.
Although, property assessment and tax data is now available on the web, basic information on a single property can still be obtained over the telephone. In order to obtain more detailed information / data or information on multiple properties, one must visit either the Township's web site or come into the Assessor's Office.
Property Tax Lookup:
How to review and appeal your property assessment?
The State of Michigan established the appeal process to assure that the property tax system would function in an equitable fashion. It is the taxpayers right to take advantage of this process.
What is a valid basis for appeal?
Claiming that your property taxes are too high and continue to go up is not a valid basis for appeal. (Remember that the Taxable Value may increase each year based on the Inflation Rate Multiplier or 1.05 whichever is less). To actually see a reduction in taxes, the Assessed Value (SEV) or Capped Value must decrease to less than the level of your current Taxable Value.
To have a good basis for appeal you need to provide evidence which indicates the Assessed Value is in excess of 50% of True Cash Value. This requires some research and fact finding on your part. Is the value of your property comparable to the sale price of similar properties that sold in your area? Is the information on which the Assessor based the appraisal correct? If you wish to check the accuracy, you need to visit the Assessor’s Office to review your property record card.
A number of factors are considered when appraising a property to estimate its value. Some of these factors are age, size, quality and type of construction, lot size, finished attics and basements, the neighborhood where the property is located, and the selling price of similar properties in that area.
If you recently purchased your home for less than the value placed on it by the Assessor, you need to check to see if other homes in your area also sold for less than twice the Assessed Value (SEV). This may indicate that the market value is lower than the value established by the Assessor.
If there is a problem with the property such as a leaking basement, it should be brought to the attention of the Assessor’s Office. A quote for the cost of repair should also be provided.
A professional appraisal of your property can be valuable if you file an appeal; however, unless substantial tax savings result from the appeal, the cost of the appraisal might be more than your tax savings. Appraisals created for purposes such as bank financing, however, may not be appropriate for property tax valuation.