Macomb Assessors Organization

October 6, 2020

Sycamore Hills Golf Club

Macomb, MI

Vice President Marcia Weredick was sworn in, with the Oath of Officers administered by Alicia Bernebei, Past President.  Presentation of Plaque to Alicia Bernebei, in recognition of her previous service as President of the MAO, presented by Marcia Weredick, Vice President and Sandy Birkenshaw, Treasurer.

The meeting was called to order at: 12:45 by Vice President Marcia Weredick.

Officers Present

Marcia Weredick (Vice President), Sandy Birkenshaw (Treasurer), Jessica Holden (Secretary), Kristen Sieloff (Trustee), Alicia Bernabei (Past President).

Absent:  Kimberly Wieczorek (President), Marcia Magyar-Smith (Trustee).

Minutes

The minutes from the July meeting were emailed to all members & hard copies were made available at check in. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Kristen Sieloff, supported by Dean Babb. Motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report

General Fund: $2,965.88 Education Fund: $3,973.66 Total: $6,939.54 a motion to approve of the treasurer’s report was made by Kristen Sieloff, supported by Dean Baab. Motion passed.

Introductions

Sandy Birkenshaw introduced and welcomed Amanda Marshall – Oakland County Equalization

Education

Sandy Birkenshaw announced “Highest and Best Use in a Pandemic”, which will be held in November. 

Equalization Report

Trustee Kristen Sieloff addressed the membership in regard to the pending inter-local agreements for the designated assessor and stated that she has been working diligently on it and it will be forthcoming.  She is currently waiting on a response from counsel to determine if a request for proposal is necessary.  Indication was given that at this time the designated assessor will most likely be Bill Griffin, unless other potential qualified applicants come forward and express an interest. 

Ms. Sieloff reminded the membership of upcoming deadlines and stressed their importance.  Additionally, she briefly discussed the upcoming conversion for cama data standards and the issues that may be encountered with this conversion.  She encouraged the membership to work through them and reach out for assistance if they encounter an issue rather than possibly dealing with lost data or other major issues.  She also stressed the importance of backups for the database. 

Legislative

Jennifer Cziesczperger discussed HB 4851, which would allow for the disabled veterans exemption to be approved retroactively for up to three years if it was due to an error on the part of the assessor or the VA.  At the time of this meeting it is not yet approved, but its status is currently being monitored.

HB 5778 and 5779 are ready to be signed and are definitely forthcoming.  This is in regard to the Heavy Equipment Rentals and will create a PILOT of 2% of the rental rate with a 90/10 split between the state and local unit.

Similar legislation is being considered for renewable energy, which would also create a PILOT based on megawatts.  This should help alleviate the difficulties encountered with valuation for solar panels, etc.

Discussion ensued regarding PRE denials issued by the state.  There were numerous denials issued for most communities and several appeals are already being received.  Ms. Cziesczperger recounted a potential issue that was brought to her attention.  Her office received correspondence from the State requesting a copy of the recorded deed for one of these properties, which upon review they did not have.  She was then informed that was in violation of Michigan case law regarding Principal Residence Exemption.   Upon reading the referenced statute, it does not appear to reference recorded deeds and she is not sure that the information she received regarding the matter was correct. She noted that we are a non-recording state, therefore we cannot mandate that a recorded deed be provided to us. Further Dean Baab Pointed out that form 2368 is an affidavit and the claimant(s) are thereby affirming that they meet all qualifications for the exemption, including ownership.

Old Business

None

New Business/Miscellaneous

Input from the membership was sought regarding the possibility of holding the annual Christmas Party in light of the ongoing pandemic. Discussion ensued, with it being suggested that if allowable the party once again be held at Total Sports, Motion by Dean Baab to hold the annual Christmas Party at Total Sports. Motion passed.

Andrew Hale from Chesterfield notified the membership of an issue that occurred regarding recorded deeds, specifically for new subdivisions and condos.  There were several deeds that were recorded without the proper community code included in the entry.  Due to this issue those deeds will not show up when accessing/searching the deed entries.  Per the county this issue affected approximately 17 subdivisions, but communities may want to contact the county to inquire if they have been impacted, especially if you believe a deed is missing.

Presentation Regarding AMAR Guidelines and Procedures

Jennifer Cziesczperger presented a review of the AMAR guidelines and procedures to the membership, with the goal being to reach 100% Approval County wide.  Key points of the presentation included the following:

Will Gast has stressed to cover the big three:  Land Values, ECF’s and Overrides.  Please make sure these are addressed accordingly.

It was noted that one area that may be reviewed is the written procedures for all of the various exemptions.  She stated that she had put together a book of protocols and procedures for each of the various exemptions, which she will subsequently email to all communities in the county for review/use if desired. 

Discussion also ensued regarding land value maps, specifically it was noted that while they may no longer be a requirement, a perfect AMAR score is not possible without them.  Additional conversation continued regarding the determination of land values, ECF’s and the proper application and presentation of them.  It was noted that land value adjustments should be somewhat specific (i.e. “corner lot, irregular shape”, etc.) rather than just vague one-word descriptions.

Additionally, in regard to form 5076, the entire form must be completed with all boxes filled out unless not applicable, signed, etc.  It was suggested that perhaps it would be beneficial to review the forms on file and ensure that they are complete.  If a form is received that is incomplete it should be denied.  Also, it was noted that envelopes should be kept for forms that are received on or near the due date as it provides proof as to whether or not the form was postmarked prior to the deadline and can substantiate proper acceptance/denial. 

It was mentioned that when considering poverty exemptions, one of the most important factors is having an application and set of procedures, which includes a test for income and assets, and further that it is being properly followed and applied.  Conversation continued as to what differing communities include as assets. 

The presentation concluded with the note that Board of Review procedures may be reviewed as well, specifically whether or not issues are being properly taken before JBOR and DBOR, does the Board of Review have authority over the matter, and are they being documented properly, etc.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:21 pm

Respectfully Submitted,

Jessica Holden, Secretary