It is the Assessor's responsibility to discover, list, classify, and value all property within the jurisdiction of Ironwood Township for tax purposes. Taxable property is divided into two classes, real property and personal property. Real property includes land and all buildings, structures, and improvements to the land. Personal property is machinery and equipment, fixtures, furniture, and other items that are movable in nature used by a business.
The Assessor's job is multi-faceted and involves the performance of the following major duties:
To ensure that all property that should legally be on the assessment roll is properly listed, classified and valued, it must first be located and identified. This task of discovery is a constant attempt to capture all new construction, additions and demolition of existing improvements, as well as changes to land use and configuration. To accomplish this, assessment personnel track building permits, property sales, zoning changes and a host of other sources for information about property status. Field inspections on a regular basis help the Assessor keep records as up-to-date as possible with regard to property changes. Discovery of personal property is accomplished through a reporting schedule that businesses are required to file each year by March 1, listing all personal property or updating those schedules already on file.
After locating property, assessing personnel must accurately record and list all of that property’s characteristics to properly value the land and all improvements. All structures and extra features are measured, and amenities or features that affect the market value of the improvements such as bathrooms, interior and exterior trim, floor finish, roofing type, etc. are noted for quantity and quality. After all data has been collected on a property, the information is compared to all similar properties using a computer assisted mass appraisal (CAAS) system that contains the property characteristics of all land and buildings in the township.
Along with assigning a value to property, the Assessor also establishes the classification or “use category” for each property, which determines the assessment level that will be used in taxation for that property.
The goal of the Assessor is to estimate fair market value for all property in the township. Fair market value is defined as how much a property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. To determine market values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market, such as: what different types of properties are selling for, local construction and repair costs, normal operating expenses, typical rents, and current financing charges for borrowing money to build or buy property.
For the Assessor, maps are a means to inventory all real property within the jurisdiction. In Gogebic County, this is accomplished through the use of a GIS (Geographic Information System). Master digital maps are updated to reflect new subdivisions, surveys, property splits and the combining of parcels as they occur.
Each year, the assessor is required to create and maintain an assessment roll detailing all township property, its owner, and its value. This roll, with preliminary, or tentative assessments, is made available for public inspection. Property owners whose property have changed in value are notified by mail of those changes, and are given an opportunity to appeal any values they feel are inconsistent with the fair market value of their property. Then after hearing owners’ appeals and ordering any changes they feel are warranted, makes the assessment roll final for the year. The Assessor of Property then turns the roll over to local taxing authorities.
Another important duty of the office is maintaining and providing public information to assist taxpayers and the general public with questions regarding property ownership, assessment, and recent property sales. The Assessor’s office handles thousands of requests annually on the phone, through the mail, or in person from current or prospective property owners, as well as from the real estate, legal, and banking communities.
Now that you have a better idea of what the Assessor of Property does, here are a few things that the Assessor does not do. Contrary to popular belief, the Assessor:
does not set the tax rate
does not create or send out tax bills
- does not collect taxes
Equitable assessments assure property owners that they are paying only their fair share of the costs of operating schools and libraries, providing police and fire protection, road construction and maintenance, water, sanitation, and other basic public services. To this end, the Assessor of Property is responsible to the taxpayers of Ironwood Township to ensure that all property is valued in accordance with state laws, that no property escapes the assessment process or is under assessed, and that no property owner receives unauthorized preferential treatment.
To obtain assessment information for a parcel in Ironwood Township please contact our Assessor, Tom Novascone at:
N10892 Lake Rd
Ironwood, MI 49938
Cell: (906) 364-0940
Or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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