My property tax issue is in the state of Michigan. I received a letter showing my taxable value is increasing this year from $62,719 to $71,224 (more than the allowable 1.024 inflation rate) for a substantial property tax increase. It says, this property is classified as 401 (Residential Improved), prior years classification was also 401 (Residential Improved).
A little background: In 2014 we had a tornado that caused significant property damage to the exterior of my home, detached garage, and agricultural barn used to house our two horses. We hired a contractor who replaced the siding on the house and garage (exterior trim and awning also), replaced our pool and deck, and tore down and replaced the agricultural barn with a new one covered by insurance. It is truly an agricultural barn (even though it is new it still has a dirt/gravel floor, 2 horse stalls, hay and tractor/tractor implement storage only). All repairs including the barn were complete by spring 2016.
The only thing I noticed that was strange was on my county website for my address it has pictures of my barn taken from my neighbors property and it says "found on google Earth 2018". (Note: Google Earth shows the old damaged barn in 2015 and the new barn in 2016). My contractor pulled permits for everything except for the pole barn because it was replacing a grandfathered agricultural barn that was destroyed in the storm. Agricultural buildings are permit and tax exempt. The property before I purchased it was zoned agricultural but was later changed to a residential zoning when I purchased it. However, because I have more than 5 acres current zoning ordinance allows me to have 2 horses along with other farm animals such as chickens, ducks, rabbits etc. There have been no improvements to the house or the property since the repairs completed in 2016 (other than planting some trees to replace the ones destroyed by the tornado).
How can the township continue to raise my taxes every year with a classification of 401 residential improved for repairs that were completed over 2 years ago? Can I appeal this decision and would it make sense to win an appeal like this? Do I need to file the appeal to the local board of review and what should I put in the appeal? I've never had to do anything like this before regarding my taxes. All prior years before the storm were taxed at the normal inflation rate without significant jumps. When do you get a real estate attorney involved? Thank you!!!!