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Strong economy fuels county’s surging property values

Equalized property values reach all-time high of nearly $26 billion.

April 28, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Kent County’s equalized property values at are at an all-time high of nearly $26 billion.

The county board of commissioners adopted the state equalization value of a combined total of $25,914,411,675 in real and personal property, which is a 7.4-percent increase from the 2016 value.

The nearly $26 billion is a high point following a five-year period, 2008-12, that saw significant decreases in the value, including the low point of just below $21 billion in 2012. Prior to the slide, Kent County equalized value was $24.3 billion in 2007.

“What we’ve been through in Michigan over the past 10 years, like a lot of parts of the country, was a significant decrease in value,” said Matt Woolford, Kent County equalization director. “We’re now well into, and enjoying the fruits of, the recovery.”

The assessed values are a lagging indicator of the economy, with the 2017 values coming from an observed period from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2016. The increase in employment, home purchasing and overall growing local economy all contribute to the increase in values, Woolford said.

Equalized values grew more than 7 percent, but because of limits from Proposal A, taxable value grew 3.4 percent with the adopted values, up to $21.8 billion. Taxable value’s lowest point was $20 billion in 2013.

“We’re on the upside,” Woolford said. “It’s the economy; it recovered and what we’ve returned to is more of the historical norm.”

Real equalized value in 2017 was $24.3 billion, and personal equalized value was $1.6 billion. Real taxable value in 2017 was $20.2 billion, and personal taxable value was $1.6 billion.

Residential property makes up 72 percent of real taxable value and commercial and industrial property are 21.56 percent and 5.38 percent, respectively. Agricultural land rounds off the pie with 1.05 percent of real taxable value.

Commercial makes up 42.10 percent of personal taxable value, while utility and industrial clock in at 26.87 percent and 21.75 percent, respectively.

The county’s nine cities make up more than 51 percent of the value, while 21 townships account for just more than 48 percent.

While the values are a lagging indicator, Woolford was confident there will be continued growth this year.

“As long as we continue to enjoy a healthy economy, people coming here and job growth, the overall trend will remain positive the coming year,” he said.

Value Added

Kent County’s equalization values have recovered nicely from a recent low point in 2012.

1991 – $8,523,945,456

1992 – $8,800,472,010

1993 – $9,620,813,847

1994 – $10,045,491,779

1995 – $10,600,047,400

1996 – $11,512,696,884

1997 – $12,422,298,191

1998 – $13,647,702,170

1999 – $14,874,132,432

2000 – $15,912,899,100

2001 – $17,212,047,916

2002 – $18,647,720,962

2003 – $19,919,370,780

2004 – $20,930,699,290

2005 – $22,119,875,769

2006 – $23,346,848,319

2007 – $24,338,570,446

2008 – $24,296,248,175

2009 – $23,810,524,071

2010 – $22,577,744,317

2011 – $21,735,166,525

2012 – $20,988,856,355

2013 – $20,992,849,006

2014 – $21,611,336,604

2015 – $23,036,449,123

2016 – $24,129,416,055

2017 – $25,917,411,675

Source: Kent County Bureau of Equalization

 

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