Washtenaw Taxable Value Falls 2.85%

Following a presentation by Raman Patel, director of the county’s equalization department, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners approved the 2011 equalization report at its April 20, 2011 meeting. Equalized (assessed) value is used to calculate taxable value, which determines tax revenues for the county as well as its various municipalities and other entities that rely on taxpayer dollars, including schools, libraries and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, among others.

For 2011, taxable value in the county has fallen 2.85% to $14.08 billion. That’s an improvement over last year’s decline, when taxable value dropped 5.33%. It’s also a smaller decrease than was projected when preparing the 2011 budget. The budget was approved with a projection of $59.205 million in tax revenues. But actual revenues, based on 2011 taxable value, are now estimated at $62.878 million.

Taxable value is determined by a state-mandated formula, and is the lower of two figures: (1) a parcel’s equalized (assessed) value, or (2) a capped value calculated by taking last year’s taxable value minus any losses (such as a building being torn down), multiplied by 5% or the rate of inflation (whichever is lower – this year inflation is 1.017%), plus the value of any additions or new construction.

In 2011, some types of property saw greater declines than others, according to the report. Commercial property showed a 9.5% drop in equalized value, while equalized value for industrial property dropped 11.82%. Residential property value showed some signs of recovery, dropping 2.74% compared to a 5.69% drop in 2010.

This brief was filed from the boardroom in the Washtenaw County administration building, 220 N. Main St., Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]