2020 Assessing Information


The housing market in the City of Douglas continues to show signs of strength.  The changes in value for the 2020 Assessments are determined by the average relationship of sale price to assessment in a given area.  Many sales have indicated the need for double digit increases that are greater than the average of 8.3%, while others are less.  If property sales are limited or non-existent in an area, the average change from surrounding neighborhoods of similar properties will be taken into consideration to determine the percentage change in assessment.  Most commercial and Industrial properties will increase as well.

The market along the Lake Michigan shoreline remains soft with sales mixed in relation to assessed values.  This results in a slight overall increase in value for these parcels.  Erosion is a factor that has been closely monitored.  Value that is attributed to any structures that have been physically damaged or eliminated as a result of the wash outs has been removed.


As mandated by law, the sales used to determine the 2020 assessments occurred between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019.  A list of the sales used for analysis is available on the City website.


As required by the constitution (Proposal A Amendment of 1994), there is a predetermined rate of change used as the basis for determining taxes.  The CPI (consumer price index) this year is 1.9%.  This rate will be applied to the 2019 taxable value to determine the 2020 taxable value, which means the majority of property owners will see an overall property tax increase of 1.9% from 2019 to 2020, even if their assessed value increases at a higher rate. The CPI does not apply to properties that have sold or made improvements during the year.


Assessment Change Notices (State Form #L-4400) are mailed in late February.  Please review this notice carefully.  In addition to value changes, it indicates Principal Residence and property transfer status as well as property classification.  The Board of Review will meet, on an appointment basis, Monday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to hear appeals.  If, after you receive your Assessment Change Notice, you believe the assessed valuation of your property does not accurately reflect market value, please call 269-857-1438 to schedule an appointment.


Assessment data is available on the City’s website.  You are encouraged to review your property characteristics to confirm our data is accurate.

Also note the State has approved exemption from property taxes for qualified Disabled Veterans.  Poverty Exemptions are also available for those with incomes below the federal guidelines.  Please contact the Assessor if you believe you may qualify for either of these exemptions.  The Disable Veteran Exemption 5107 Affidavit may be reviewed to determine if you qualify.  Supporting documentation must be provided with the Affidavit for consideration.  Application must be made for the Poverty Exemption as well.