Watson Township Property Tax Assessor
Phone - (269) 672-7254 (Watson Township Office)
Phone - (269) 673-9616 (Assessor's Office Phone)
Assessor's Hours at the Township Office:
Wednesday (First 4 of Every Month)
9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Other times please contact the Assessor by phone.
How Your Tax Assessment is Calculated:
The assessor is the township official who estimates the value of every parcel of real estate within the township’s boundaries. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of property tax bills.
The assessor is required by law to maintain tax assessments at a uniform percentage of market value each year. The assessor signs an oath to this effect when certifying the tentative assessment roll -- the document containing each property assessment. The physical description and value estimate of every parcel is required to be kept current.
All real property is assessed for taxes. Real property is defined as land and any permanent structures attached to it. Examples of real property are vacant land, farm buildings, houses, gas stations, office buildings, motels, shopping centers, saleable natural resources (gravel, oil, gas, timber), apartment buildings, factories, and restaurants.
Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for on the open market under normal conditions. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market.
A property's value can be estimated in three different ways by the assessor:
- First, a particular property is compared to others similar to it that sold recently, where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the market approach.
- The second way is to calculate the cost, using today's labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the assessor determines the depreciation since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land. This method is called the cost approach.
- The third way is to analyze how much income a property (like an apartment building, store, or factory) will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money expected to be earned are considered. This method is called the income approach.
After the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. Michigan law provides that all property within the township must be assessed at a uniform percent of market value. Everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes as long as every property is assessed at the same percent of value.