Home Improvements

One of the single greatest fears homeowners have when considering home improvements is how much the improvements made will directly affect their assessment, and thereby their taxes. Some improvements may mean higher taxes; however, improvements that are a replacement of existing parts or maintenance items no longer increase taxes. In 1976, the state Legislature enacted Public Act 293, which protects the homeowner from an increased tax assessment because of repair or replacement of portions of his or her home.

Expenditures Not in Assessment

The following normal repair and maintenance expenditures will not be included in your assessment until the property is sold:
  • Painting
  • Repair or replacement of siding (including the installation of vinyl or aluminum siding)
  • Repair or replacement of roofs, porches, gutters and downspouts, steps, sidewalks and drives
  • Repainting, repair or replacement of existing masonry
  • Repair of replacement of foundations
  • Installation, repair or replacement of awnings
  • Installation, repair or replacement of doors, windows, storms or screens
  • Installation or replacement of weather stripping or insulation
  • Rewiring
  • Repair or replacement of plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, furnaces and hot water heaters
  • Repair or replacement of interior decoration, including walls, woodwork, ceilings and floor coverings
  • Removal or replacement of partitions
  • Repair or replacement of chimneys

Assessed Improvements

The following improvements would be assessed since they are additions to the basic structure of the house:
  • Construction of a dormer or addition of a room or rooms to the house
  • Construction of a breezeway
  • Construction or substantial reconstruction of a garage or other out building
  • Finishing previously unfinished spaces
  • Construction of an in-ground swimming pool
  • Permits
Most major structural repairs require a building permit. Obtain this permit from the City Building Department, City Hall, Fourth Floor. Questions? Call 989-894-8162, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays.

Millage Rates

The property taxes you are charged depend on the millage rate assessed by various units of government and the taxable value of your home. Millage rates will vary from year to year, and your assessment will be factored up or down to account for the changes in the real estate market. Likewise, your taxable value will increase by the CPI, or 5%, whichever is less, as promised by Proposal A of 1994.