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February 26, 2014 - After watching the value of their biggest investment drop for a few years, Oxford and Addison homeowners have much reason to rejoice.

The State Equalized Value (SEV) of residential properties in both townships increased significantly based on the 2014 assessments from the Oakland County Equalization Division (OCED).

Addison's SEVs increased by an average of 13.79 percent, the highest in Oakland County, while Oxford's increased by average of 9.01 percent.

SEV is equal to approximately 50 percent of a property's fair market value.

OCED Manager Dave Hieber attributed the increased property values to a variety of factors. "Foreclosures are down," he said. "I think the overall economy's better . . .The real estate market in residential is rebounding."

This year's SEV increase for the two townships is much larger than last year.

In 2013, the SEV of residential properties increased by an average of 3.99 percent in Oxford and 1.08 percent in Addison.

Hieber noted that although Addison's increase was the highest in the county this year, "it's not an extreme outlier."

There were 15 other communities with double-digit increases ranging from 10.12 percent (Rochester) to 12.99 percent (Clawson).

County-wide residential values were up by an average of 8.75 percent.

Only two out of 52 townships and cities in Oakland had decreases in residential SEV. Royal Oak Township went down by an average of 2.29 percent, while a piece of the City of Fenton went down by 0.30 percent.

Fenton lies mostly in Genesee County with small portions in Livingston and Oakland counties.

Hieber explained there are approximately six or seven parcels, "literally the cul-de-sac of a neighborhood," of Fenton located in Oakland. This small area was annexed from Holly Township.

"I wouldn't read too much into that (decrease)," Hieber said. "I don't think that's indicative of Fenton going down in value."

Even though the SEVs are up significantly, most folks will only see their property tax bills increase by the rate of inflation.

"The majority of the taxpayers will see a 1.6 percent increase in their taxable value and then, if their millage rate stays the same, they'll see a 1.6 percent increase in taxes for July and December of 2014," Hieber said.

"Exceptions to that are people that have made physical additions to their property – a new garage (or) a family room addition. And those folks who bought (a home) in 2013, (their taxable values) become uncapped for 2014."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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