The process of County Equalization is mandated by Section 211.34 of the General Property Tax Act of the State of Michigan.
The Equalization Department's main purpose is to correct the inequities that may occur between local units of government as a result of under or over assessment of a property class. The Equalization Department does not determine individual assessments; that is the sole responsibility of the local assessor. The equalization process is accomplished by using sales and appraisal studies performed on individual property classes in each township and city throughout the county.
The results of these sales and appraisal studies are used to determine the true cash value of each property class (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, developmental, timber cutover, and personal property). The department's equalization studies are compared to the corresponding property class totals as determined by the assessor for each township and city. If necessary, the department applies a "County Equalization Factor" to those classes that have an "average level" of assessment above or below 50% of true cash value. Equalization is also responsible for millage reduction report which reflects the millage reduction fraction for all tax levying jurisdictions in the county.
The department may furnish assistance to local assessing officers in the performance of duties including development and maintenance of accurate property descriptions, the discovery, listing, and valuation of properties for tax purposes, and the development and use of uniform valuation standards and techniques for the assessment of property.
The local units may also contract with Equalization department to prepare a tax database, determination of millage rate to be applied, printing of tax bills, assessment change notices and personal property statements.