Al Zielinski, Assessor

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Assessment Value Information

It is the Assessor's responsibility to determine the fair market value of all real estate within the township's borders. One-third (33%) of that fair market value equals the assessed value of the property.

The following lists provide only a general reference so residents can gain a basic understanding of what the Assessor's office uses, and doesn't use, when determining a property's value.

An official valuation requires an on-site, interior inspection. Please contact the Assessor's office so we can arrange a date and time that's convenient for you. We usually accommodate requests within two business days.

Assessment Items

the following are some of the features used to arrive at a determination of fair cash value. The over-riding determination as to whether a feature is used or not is called functional utility.
  • Square footage of the livable area of the property's improvements
  • Square footage of the garage(s)
  • Size and type of basement or foundation (slab, crawl space, walk-out, etc.)
  • Market value of the land (includes positive and negative views)
  • Central heating and air conditioning
  • Plumbing fixtures (the number of bathroom plumbing fixtures and extra sinks)
  • Open and enclosed porches
  • Fireplaces
  • Decks and patios
  • In-ground pools

 

The Assessor's office uses three methods to arrive at a fair market value:

  • Sales Comparison (Market) Approach,
  • Cost Approach and
  • Income Approach.

The Sales Comparison Approach is used most frequently on residential property. It is based on the open-market, arms-length sales of similar properties and their improvements after adjustments are made for the above factors.

The Cost Approach is used primarily on new construction (less than five years old), on unique properties and when an inadequate number of valid comparable properties can be found in the Subject property's neighborhood.

The Income Approach is limited to income-producing or investment properties. The value of the land is usually represented by the present value of the discounted cash flow stream produced by the property's improvements.

Other Items

The Assessor's office does not usually consider the following items when determining fair cash value. This is because the value contribution is negligible compared to the rest of the property's functional utility, the items are personal property or the items are not considered real property.

  • Driveways, sidewalks and driveway ribbons
  • Landscaping including foliage and related retaining walls, etc.
  • Privacy fences
  • Garden sheds
  • Above-ground hot tubs
  • Above-ground pools
  • The number of bedrooms
  • The total number of rooms

Further, the expectations of buyers in that particular neighborhood are considered. For example, a three-car garage would usually add value if they are not aberrant in the neighborhood. However, a four-car garage would not necessarily receive the same incremental value adjustment because it would likely be super-adequate (over-development) for the neighborhood.

Starting in 2014, the Assessor's office will also be considering the Principle of Surplus Land in its determination of the land component values of properties. For this reason, many neighborhoods will see their land components determined via the Site Method versus the Square Foot Method. The end result will be a much higher level of uniformity in the neighborhood's assessments.

We realize we're making some significant changes and want all taxpayers to fully understand the process. Once that understanding is achieved, we're confident they will have a much higher trust in the assessments they receive.

To help achieve that understanding, the Assessor's office is ready (and eager) to make presentations to interested groups including Home Owners Associations, civic organizations, and neighborhood groups. Please ask and we will happily and promptly respond.