Assessing Property Inspections

The City of St. Louis is conducting an inspection of all its properties.  This inspection will assure fair and equitable assessment of each parcel, accurate assessing records, and will endure compliance with the State of Michigan assessment standards.  


Why are people measuring and photographing my property?

The City of St. Louis is conducting inspections (record card review) for every property in the City over a period of five years.  Part of updating the assessing department records requires an exterior measurement of the home/building as well as measurements of any improvements on the property.  A photograph is taken for City records and for informational purposes.  The photo will be extremely beneficial not only to assist in the assessing department, but also as reference for taxpayers, realtors, and appraisers.  The State of Michigan requires the assessing department records to be as detailed and up to date as possible.

Will everything on my property be measured and inspected?

Yes, some items will be picked up as informational items only, but the State of Michigan requires any improvements, big or small, to be inspected and measured.  If the items on the property match what is indicated on the record card, then only photos will be updated.

When will the results of the inspection affect my tax bill?

If your property is inspected from 04/15/19-12/31/19 and omitted property was discovered, or items removed, you will see the adjustment on your 2020 tax bills.  If your property is inspected from 04/15/20-12/31/20 you will see the adjustment on your 2021 tax bills.  If  your property is inspected from 04/15/21-12/31/21 you will see the adjustment on your 2022 tax bills.  And so on.   Look for your notice of assessment which is mailed out every year at the end of February to see how your assessed value and taxable value is impacted.  

When will I be able to see the results of the inspection?

Due to the enormity of the project, approximately 20% of the properties will be visited each year.  If your property is visited in 2019 expect to see the results and obtain a copy of the record card by the end of February 2020 after you receive your notice of assessment.

Do you need to go in my backyard?

Assessing staff are required to go into your backyard to complete the inspection.  They will first knock at the door; if there is no answer they will begin to measure the front of the house/building and make their way around to the back of the property. 

Do you need to come inside my home?

NO.  Assessing staff do not need to be inside your home during THIS inspection.  Everything we need to see will be reviewed on an exterior basis only.  The assessing staff may have questions about the interior, so please cooperate as much as possible.  If a card is left, please call our office.

How will I identify City employees?

The assessing staff will have clearly  marked city-issued identification badges. They will typically be carrying a clipboard and tape measure.  If further identification is needed please don't hesitate to call the Assessing Department at (989) 463-9514 to verify their identification.   

What if I have made no changes to the property since it was purchased?

Though you may not have made any changes to the property since you purchased it, our records may still require updating. Some properties have not been visited since they were originally built.

How can you assess for something that is not attached to my home?

It is commonly believed if a porch and/or deck are not touching the home, it cannot be taxed.  This is complete misconception.  All structures need to be properly inspected and noted on the record card.  A determination will be made as to whether they are contributing to the overall value and therefore included in the assessment.

What is going to add value to the assessment and what is not?

General maintenance items such as new gutters, roof, windows, etc. are not assessable items. The lead contributors to an increased assessment include but are not limited to: discovery of air conditioning, decks, porches, patios, sheds, additions, garages, carports and barns.  

Does this have anything to do with my Principal Residence Exemption?

No. This inspection will in no way affect your Principal Residence Exemption.

Is there any way to protest the inspection and/or what is found?

Every year at the end of February a notice of assessment is mailed to every property in the City of St. Louis.  Once it is received please review the information provided.  A list of dates and times to protest at the local March Board of Review is included.  Failure to receive the notice does not invalidate the assessed and taxable values.  Please call our office by the end of February if you have not received your notice of assessment.  The March Board of Review is the only time a taxpayer can appeal their residential home value.  If it is missed the taxpayer forfeits their rights to appeal their values at the Michigan Tax Tribunal.  

PLEASE NOTE that the City of St. Louis shares assessing services with the City of Alma.  The Assessor's physical office is located at:  Alma City Hall, 525 E Superior St., Alma MI 48801.  Office hours Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. email: Phone: 989-463-9514.
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