September 23, 2014

Third time a charm?

Adams Township assessed again

By John Fischer
Staff writer
Posted

ADAMS TOWNSHIP — In light of a two-year ongoing, troubled reappraisal in Adams Township, the State Tax Commission (STC) has now put the matter in the hands of Arenac County to finish the reappraisal by Sept. 1.

In an Official Order from the STC received in mid-December 2008, the Arenac County Equalization Department is to “take all necessary steps to correct the problems associated with the reappraisal for Adams Township, Arenac County.”

According to Arenac County Equalization Director Linda Lewandowski, she, along with Adams Township officials, contacted a few assessment companies but only one, Equity Assessments Incorporated (EAI), Gladwin, felt it could complete the reappraisal in the amount of time allowed in the Official Order.

“They’ve (STC) been calling me everyday, since I received the letter, asking me what we’re going to do,” Lewandowski said. “I’m interested in starting this week.”

She says she’s happy with the proposal from EAI and contacted the STC concerning EAI’s background. She added the STC reported EAI as having a clean record.

“They’re (EAI) going to put together new field cards, drawings on APEX, attach pictures to the files, and do a complete analysis,” Lewandowski said. “I’m very confident in their ability to complete the reappraisal.

“They (STC) actually want the whole thing wrapped up by Aug. 1, so EAI is going to have the reappraisal done by June 30 so the STC can come in and check their work.”

Initially, Adams Township was unwilling to pay the $40 per parcel rate EAI is requesting, says former Adams Township Supervisor and Assessor Hubert Fisk, but according to the Official Order it isn’t up to Adams Township to decide, says Lewandowski. Lewandowski also explained that AuGres Township was in the same situation as Adams Township a few years ago and ended up paying in the vicinity of $120 per parcel to resolve the matter.

The Official Order states Arenac County has complete oversight of the reappraisal and “a bill shall be sent to Adams Township, Arenac County covering the time and expenses incurred by the STC and Arenac County for implementation of this order.”

A representative from EAI said the company contacted the STC early Tuesday, Jan. 13, regarding the handling of the reappraisal and was told the STC would be meeting with the assessor assigned to the township monthly to review all different types of property and assets.

“That means feet on the ground at every parcel,” the company’s representative said. “You’ll (Arenac County) know everything that happens and we’ll know if the state doesn’t like something we’re (EAI) doing.”

Lewandowski says time is of the essence in the matter.

“The state (STC) has been in contact everyday pushing me to get something going,” Lewandowski said. “So I want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.”

The Board of Commissioners signed a contract to hire EAI after much deliberation in a 5-0 vote at a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 13.

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