Where are tax rates highest in NE Michigan?

Data suggests regional rates in line with rest of state

CORRECTION: The property tax rate in the Village of Posen is 25.6711 mills. The municipality with that tax rate was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

ALPENA — The typical Alpena resident paid over $1,600 a year in property taxes last year.

That’s based on Alpena County’s median home value of $83,900 and the 38.2722-mill tax rate paid by city property owners. That rate includes state taxes, taxes for schools, the county, and city taxes.

A 1-mill tax costs $1 for every $1,000 of taxable property value, which is typically half the property’s market value. So the owner of a $100,000 house pays about $50 for every 1 mill of property taxes.

Earlier this year, a $63 million bond proposal for facilities upgrades in Alpena Public Schools was overwhelmingly denied by Alpena County voters, many of whom cited already-too-high taxes as one of the reasons they rejected the proposal.

Data from the Tax Foundation — using U.S. Census estimates based on surveys and not an actual calculation based on millage rates — shows property taxes across the Alpena County are in-line with the rest of the state, though they are higher than the rest of Northeast Michigan.

Alpena County’s median property taxes paid in 2017 was $1,276, according to the Tax Foundation. Presque Isle County’s was $1,198, Montmorency County’s was $1,112, and Alcona County’s was $1,103.

The median statewide property tax burden was $2,241, according to the Census. The highest in Michigan was Washtenaw County, where the typical property owner paid more than $4,000, according to the Tax Foundation.

Alpena Mayor Matt Waligora said Monday he would have to compare numbers between cities and townships in Alpena County, but said the city has its own police department and larger Department of Public Works, and taxes are higher in the city to support those services.

City tax rates typically far outpace those of townships.

“We provide more to our residents,” Waligora said.

Alpena residents paid 16.1066 mills for city operations in 2018, according to the Alpena County Equalization Department. Residents also paid 18 mills for Alpena Public Schools operations and 1.8 mills toward the school district’s bond debt.

The typical Alpena Township resident paid over $1,035 in property taxes last year, based on a 24.6842-mill tax rate and the county’s typical home value. The Census data shows the rate was higher, at more than $1,300 in property taxes paid.

The typical Rogers City resident paid $1,598 in 2018, based on the county’s median home value of $87,700 and tax rate of 36.4375 mills. Residents paid 16.778 mills for city operations, while the rest of the taxes are county or school millages.

The Census survey data shows a lower tax burden in Rogers City, at $1,168.

Rogers City City Manager Joe Hefele said in an email to The News that the city’s operational millage is in line with other similar-sized municipalities.

“I believe my city government is being extremely responsible,” Hefele said.

Hefele said that, of the 36.4375 mills, 7.6844 were approved by Rogers City residents.

Montmorency County millage rates were not available on the county’s website.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.

Property tax rates in Alpena County

∫ A look at how much Alpena County property tax rates in 2018.

Total tax rate Median taxes paid, 2017

City of Alpena 38.2722 $1,349

Alpena Township 24.6842 $1,331

Green Township 23.36 N/A

Long Rapids Township 25.5617 $1,348

Maple Ridge Township 22.5097 N/A

Ossineke Township 23.6098 $1,118

Sanborn Township 23.578 $1,130

Wellington Township 23.2601 N/A

Wilson Township 23.5488 N/A

Sources: Alpena County Equalization Department, U.S. Census Bureau