Wilson Township stuck with new assessment

In 2014 the Michigan State Tax Commission conducted an “Audit of Minimum Assessing Requirements (AMAR) on the property tax rolls of Wilson Township. The property tax assessor did not meet minimum requirements. Seven of 11 elements were not completed. The Assessor had to provide a corrective action plan to fix the failed items. In 2016 another AMAR was conducted which resulted in another failure. In the documentation, all the communications from the State’s Tax Commission was sent to the Assessor and the Township Clerk (Pam Walker). The township board at the time, knew about these failures, why was this allowed to continue? Wilson paid $9,000 a year to the assessor to do a job which was not done.

An inspection is a tool for the Assessor and Township Board to ensure compliance with the established laws. Our Assessor and Board of 2014-2016 failed the residents. Now we have to pay someone else to make corrections. Who is held accountable for the malfeasance? Some resident’s taxes may increase in the future because of the unsatisfactory job performed.

The Assessor has resigned and didn’t run for re-election for the supervisor’s position. Thankfully three of the five previous board members have been replaced via the 2016 election. In the documents I have read, the State is going to work with the newly elected Supervisor, Dan Hibner to take corrective actions. Another inspection was scheduled for 2017. If those items were not corrected the State would have taken control of the tax rolls. This would’ve caused a financial burden for the Township.

There was a “special meeting” on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 to discuss the situation. The township is going to have to pay out $20,000 to Berg Assessing of Rogers City to bring the township back into compliance with state laws and regulations.

Matthew Germain