The Assessing office is staffed by the City Assessor, L. Gail Dolbee, MAAO, MCPPE and Paula Weipert, MCAO, MCPPE, Administrative Assistant. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. or by appointment. Our phone number is 231-592-4030.
The mission of the City Assessor's office has evolved over the past ten years with some major changes being brought about by the passage of Proposal A by the electorate in March of 1994 with subsequent statutory changes.
The mission statement for the office prior to the adoption of Proposal A was "identify, list, and value all real and personal property in the City of Big Rapids in a fair and equitable manner". The goals of the office are focused on this mission statement. Since the adoption of Proposal A, the mission statement has expanded to include "subject to taxable value restrictions as adopted by State Law".
Essentially, the Assessor's Office is responsible to distribute or apportion the property tax burden equitably based upon the market value of each parcel of property in the City of Big Rapids. In other words, if you have a better location, a bigger house, and a quieter neighborhood (to name a few residential premium features of value) you should pay more taxes than someone with an inferior location, a smaller house, and a noisier neighborhood.
The best way to measure how well the Assessor's Office is fulfilling its mission is by statistically analyzing sales-ratio studies of the current year's assessment as compared to a current bona-fide sales price. The Assessor's Office is required by law to assess at 50% of market value as property exists on December 31st of each year for the subsequent calendar years tax bills. By State Law, the 50% level of assessment is very important. By the Assessor's mission statement, the uniformity of assessments is also very important. The Assessor's Office has been very successful in assessing at the appropriate level of assessment with consistent 1.0000 factors from County Equalization over the past ten years.
The City Assessor is a position appointed by the City Commission that is required to administer State Law, State rules and regulations, and local ordinances. The key is that we are an office of the City of Big Rapids and we work for the taxpayers and residents of the City. The property tax and assessment process in Michigan is very mysterious to a lot of people, but whether you are a non-profit organization, a company or an individual taxpayer, the Assessor's Office and all of the public information compiled by the office is available to you during normal business hours. Please do not hesitate to visit us whenever you need our services. We take great pride in our work and we feel it is an honor and a privilege to work for all of those people that make up the City of Big Rapids -- the only Big Rapids in the USA.