GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The housing market in West Michigan is tight, and affordable homes are selling fast.

Home assessments in Grand Rapids are going up, and your taxes could be, too. 

“The county equalization study indicated we needed an increase of 11.67 percent on average, which means to hit that average, many properties had to be increased higher than that,” said Scott Engerson, the Grand Rapids city assessor.

The increase is as high as 25 or 30 percent in some neighborhoods.

“The increase this year is the highest I believe we've seen in the last 6 years,” Engerson said. 

Typcally, the more people paid above the assessed value for homes in your neighborhood over the last two years, the higher the increase. 

“As long as a person didn’t purchase their home in the prior year, and assuming they had no new construction, their taxable value would have been capped at 2.4 percent this year,” Engerson said. 

For people who just bought a home -- it’s a different story. 

“For new owners that purchased in 2018, their taxable value on their new home would be uncapped," Engerson said. "So whatever that assessed value was increased to is what the taxable value is required to be by law.”

Affordable housing isn’t a new issue in the city.

“We are a growing city, home prices are increasing, and some folks feel like they can no longer afford to live in City of Grand Rapids,” said Amy Snow-Buckner, the city's acting managing director of communications.

That’s why the city created it’s Housing NOW! initiative.

“Over the course of a few years, we had a housing advisory committee," Snow-Buckner said. "And they came up with recommendations for the city commission to consider for opportunities to make housing more affordable.”

When it comes to home assessments, there is an appeals process. But the deadline for residential properties has passed for this year. 

“We actually received the second lowest number of appeals over the past 15 years,” Engerson said. 

The city has more information on its website for how to appeal the assessed value of your property.

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