FAQ - taxes
WHAT IS PERSONAL PROPERTY?
Personal Property is the tangible (physical) assets of a business. Personal Property should not be confused with real property.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL PROPERTY?
Personal Property consists of many items. A few of those would be: furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, office equipment, computer equipment and signs. Contact the Assessor’s Office if you have questions whether an item qualifies as personal property.
WHERE AND HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO FILE A PERSONAL PROPERTY STATEMENT?
Personal Property statements are filed each year with the jurisdiction that the personal property was located in on December 31st. Personal property is valued at market (true-cash) value and assessed at 50% thereof. Personal Property statements are mailed the first week of January and must be completed, signed and returned by February 20th. If a personal property statement is not returned by the February 20th deadline, by law, the Assessor is required to estimate an assessed value.
WHO SAYS I HAVE TO FILE A PERSONAL PROPERTY STATEMENT?
The Michigan Constitution provides for assessment of all real and personal property not exempted by law.
WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION DO I INCLUDE ON THE PERSONAL PROPERTY STATEMENT?
The total original installed costs for each item of personal property by the year of purchase.
WHAT ABOUT USED EQUIPMENT?
If an item was purchased used, you must report the original cost of the item in the year it was purchased AS NEW. Do not report the cost you paid for the item as used. (You may have to contact the seller for original costs information.)
If you have personal property that has been fully expensed or depreciated for Federal Income Tax or financial accounting purposes, the original cost in the year purchased MUST be reported on your personal property statement. When you sell or get rid of an item of personal property, the original cost of the item should not be included on your statement when you file the following year.
DO I REPORT EQUIPMENT THAT I AM LEASING?
Yes, this equipment should be reported on Section J of your personal property statement. Be sure to include the type of equipment, leasing company name and mailing address. The leasing company may be responsible for payment of the personal property tax. However, be sure to read our rental/lease agreement to verify if the leasing company or your business is responsible for the tax.
I LEASE SPACE MY BUSINESS OCCUPIES. DO I HAVE TO PAY A PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX?
Yes, Personal Property is a tax on the physical (tangible) assets of the business, not the structure or building itself. Therefore, the owner of the business, not the owner of the building, is assessed a personal property tax.
I OPERATE A BUSINESS OUT OF MY HOME. DO I HAVE TO PAY A PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX?
Yes, regardless of where the business is located, if a business is situated within Northfield Township, it is subject to a personal property tax. However, if you are the sole proprietor of a business and live within the Township, you may qualify for a partial exemption of the personal property tax.
WHERE DOES THE TAX MONEY COLLECTED GO?
When you receive your personal property tax bill, it will have itemized amounts as to where the tax money is distributed. In Northfield Township, those entities include, but are not limited to: Washtenaw County, Northfield Township, Police Protection, Fire/Medical Rescue Protection, Ann Arbor, Dexter, South Lyon or Whitmore Lake Schools, State Education Fund, Washtenaw Intermediate Schools, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Dexter or Northfield Township Library. Essentially, personal property tax money goes to the same entities as real property tax. The tax rate used to calculate the amount of tax is the non-homestead tax rate.
WHAT IF I WANT TO APPEAL MY ASSESSED VALUE ON MY PERSONAL PROPERTY?
If you disagree with your assessment, please contact the Assessor’s Office. If needed, you may appeal to the Board of Review in March and further to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. However, in order to file to the Michigan Tax Tribunal, you must have filed your personal property tax statement and you must have appealed to the Board of Review.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A BUSINESS OWNER?
You must notify Northfield Township Assessor’s Office when your business moves into or out of the Township. Also, if you anticipate purchasing a business, make sure that the seller has paid the personal property taxes. The tax bills may be in the name of the old business, but the tax lien on the personal property remains. Therefore, the personal property may be seized to pay delinquent personal property taxes even though you may be the new business owner.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY BUSINESS MOVES OUT OF NORTHFIELD TOWNSHIP DURING THE YEAR?
December 31st is the tax day in the State of Michigan. Unlike real property where taxes are prorated at the time of sale, a personal property tax is due for the entire year. For example, if your business moves out of the Township on any day during the calendar year following tax day (December 31st), you, as a business owner, are still liable for the personal property tax for the remainder of the calendar year.
Personal property taxes would be due to the City or Township your business re-locates to the following year. Your business cannot be taxed a personal property tax by two jurisdictions in the same year.
WHAT HAPPENS IF PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES BECOME DELINQUENT?
The non-payment of personal property taxes could result in seizure of the personal property. If you have a dispute, pay the taxes and pursue action to show why reimbursement should be made. Once the opportunity to appeal with the Board of Review has passed and a tax bill has been issued, the assessment and tax bill are both valid and the tax is not refundable. The Treasurer is authorized to seize and sell personal property of a business if personal property taxes remain unpaid.