Local tax free land

August 1, 2015

It has been said that nothing is certain in this world except death and taxes, but for some property owners in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, there is no requirement to pay property taxes. While the vast majority of property owners in the nearly 23,000-acre area that makes up Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills must pay property taxes, about four percent of property in the area is exempt from taxes.

“Take a suburban community, such as Birmingham, and there is an expectation that the city will be fundamentally supported by primarily residential property taxes along with some commercial tax, but in that mix will be a range of buildings that won’t be tax generating,” said Birmingham Planning Board member Robin Boyle, who also works as a professor in urban studies and planning at Wayne State University. 

Of the some 3,074 acres of land that make up the city of Birmingham, about 10 percent is exempt from property taxes. That land includes small parcels of land that don’t have much value on their own, such as right-of-way road easements, as well as highly-coveted downtown property, such as churches or government-owned buildings, like the Baldwin Library or the Birmingham City Hall.

Religious institutions, schools and government facilities are often considered the cornerstones of a suburban community, and as such the owners of such properties qualify for various tax exemptions.

In total, there are more than three dozen real property tax exemptions available in the Michigan General Property Tax Act, which offer partial or full tax exemptions to religious entities, various non-profit organizations, governmental entities, educational facilities, parks, disabled veterans and others. 

“It’s sort of a cost of creating community,” Boyle said. “Parks, high schools, elementary schools and more facilities that would be seen as the precursor of today’s not-for-profits, like community-based elderly facilities. That was very much the calculus of a suburban community, but that is shifting because we are seeing far more non-profits and an expansion of the religious base.”

For communities with a large number of non-profits, educational facilities and government buildings, the expansion of tax-exempt lands can pose problems with revenue. A national report on tax-exempt lands published in 2012 by Governing magazine found about 30 percent of Baltimore’s entire assessed value – about $15.1 billion – is made up of property owned by governments, non-profits and other tax-exempt organizations. Tax-exempt lands may also pose a problem for university towns and some state capitals that have a higher percent of government-owned property.

The Oakland County Equalization office, which conducts property assessments for Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, said it doesn’t provide assessments on tax-exempt properties. 

Despite impacting revenue in some communities, the amount of tax-exempt land in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area isn’t an immediate concern, said Dan Hunter, with the Oakland County Economic Development Office.

“The north end of the county has some concern because they have a whole lot of state or local parkland as a percentage of their land, so they try to generate as much revenue as possible with their land.”

In Commerce Township, which consists of thousands of acres of local and state parkland and inland lakes in the west Oakland area, the township’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has prohibited non-profit organizations from purchasing land in the DDA’s tax increment financing area where the township is developing a new downtown. The measure, which was created through a deed restriction on land currently owned by the DDA, is one way that some communities have addressed the issue of potential losses of revenue due to tax exemptions.

Hunter said the restriction on tax-exempt organizations in Commerce makes sense,” however, he said there isn’t a major concern about tax-free land at the county level.

“From an economic development perspective, we don’t really see it as an issue,” he said. “We encourage redevelopment projects and others on a case-by-case basis. We advocate case-by-case for tax incentives.”

Other communities across the nation are stepping up efforts to collect voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (PILT). However, such payments are voluntary and, in the case of many Michigan communities, have historically gone underfunded.

“Payment in lieu of taxes is a mechanism that is being reviewed and considered in many areas, but they tend to be used in bigger communities where there are large communities that take up a lot of space, particularly large, not-for-profit hospitals and universities,” Boyle said.

Birmingham Treasurer Mark Gerber said the city receives about $20,000 per year in PILT funds, which come solely from The Baldwin House, which is one of nine private entities that receives a property tax exemption in the city. Additional private exemptions include:

• Junior League of Birmingham, 460 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, .13 acres.

• Baldwin House, 200 Chester St., Birmingham, 1.54 acres.

• Ameritech, 155 Henrietta St., Birmingham, .31 acres.

• Village Players, 34660 Woodward, Birmingham, .53 acres.

• YMCA, 400 E. Lincoln, Birmingham, 7.97 acres.

• AT&T, 2203 Holland, Birmingham, .89 acres.

• Clover Hill Park Cemetery, 2420 E. Lincoln, Birmingham, 2.69 acres.

• Clover Hill Park Cemetery, 2425 E. Fourteen Mile, Birmingham, 53.98 acres.

• Grand Trunk Western Railroad, unspecified address, Birmingham, .1 acres.



Real property tax exemptions may be granted under the law to private corporations for various reasons. Under state tax law, tracks, right-of-way, depot grounds and buildings, machine shops, rolling stock and all other property necessarily used in operating any railroad shall be exempt from taxation for any purposes. The law also offers multiple tax exemptions for special housing, such as those owned by non-profit organizations, economic development groups, or those designated for elderly or disabled families.

Housing owned and operated by a non-profit corporation or association, the state or subdivision of the state, which is used solely for elderly or disabled families is exempt from collection of taxes, under the law. The owner of the property must apply for an exemption with the state’s department of treasury, with the state having the authority to approve or disapprove the exemption. If granted, the exemption is active until the property is no longer used for occupancy by elderly or disabled families.

Non-profit organizations make up a small portion of tax-exempt lands. Records obtained by Downtown Publications from the Oakland County equalization office and the Bloomfield Township assessor’s office indicate there have been only six non-profit tax exemptions granted in the three communities. Those include:

• The Community House, 380 S. Bates, Birmingham, .85 acres.

• St. Elizabeth Briarbank Assisted Living, 39315 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills, 13.9 acres.

• Metropolitan Real Estate, 2666 W. Hickory Grove, Bloomfield Township, .66 acres.

• Sherman Program, 1050 E. Square Lake Road, Bloomfield Township, 7.985 acres.

• Angel’s Place, 4765 Tullamore Dr., Bloomfield Township, .634 acres.

• Angel’s House, 3123 Middlebury Ln., Bloomfield Township, .425 acres.



Bloomfield Township Treasurer Dan Devine said while the township has many properties that are exempt from property tax payment, the township doesn’t have any special districts that would provide exemptions, such as brownfield developments, renaissance districts or other special districts.

“We have had a philosophy over many years — probably 50 years — that we really don’t have TIFAs or PILTs or DDA or Brownfields,” he said. “We felt the zip codes in our area command the highest and best use. That’s very lucrative to the end user in the commercial districts and similarly for residential. The only exemptions would be like religious and local government for things like a well site, schools and those sorts of things.

“When developers or other people come in, we say we really don’t do that. I think what happens, to be honest, in some of our neighboring municipalities, once you open the door, it’s hard to close.”

Of the more than 40 different exemptions available to property owners under the state tax law, only eight are subject to state approval, which include the Industrial Facilities Exemption; the Water Pollution Control Exemption; the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act; the Air Pollution Control Exemption; the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act; Commercial Rehabilitation Act; the New Personal Property Exemption; and the Commercial Facilities Exemption. The majority of tax exemptions are initiated and approved at the local level, with final approval from the Michigan State Tax Commission required for some. Michigan State Treasurer spokesman Terry Stanton said religious, non-profit and disabled veteran’s exemptions are all approved at the local level, only. 

Both Birmingham Treasurer Mark Gerber and Bloomfield Hills Treasurer Karen Ruddy said their communities don’t have any special zones or districts that offer tax exemptions or reductions. The majority of exemptions fall under religious exemptions, educational exemptions and local government exemptions. However, one particular exemptions that was introduced in recent years has been increasing.

“There are veterans exemptions, it’s about the second or third year for those,” Ruddy said.

The exemption, which falls under the category of local government exemptions, is available for homestead property owned by a disabled veteran who has been honorably discharged from the armed forces. To qualify for the exemption, applicants must be determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be permanently disabled as a result of military service and entitled to benefits at a 100-percent rate. The exemption must be approved by the county treasurer’s office each year.

A total of 21 people received the veteran’s exemption in Bloomfield Township, according to the latest tax records from the township. Records provided by the Oakland County Equalization office didn’t specifically list veteran’s exemptions, which are included in government exemptions.



EDUCATIONAL EXEMPTIONS

In total, about five percent of Bloomfield Township’s total acreage (16,710 acres) is designated as tax-exempt land. The largest portion of that land (550 acres) is used for educational purposes. About 33 acres of land in Birmingham has received educational exemptions, while Bloomfield Hills has about 60 acres, according to Oakland County which does not specify all of the acreage for Cranbrook Schools, estimated to be about 350 acres in total.

Under state tax law, property which is leased, loaned or otherwise made available to a school district, community college or other state supported educational institution or non profit educational institution, is exempt from taxation while used by the institution. The exemption also applies to preschool education programs. Real estate owned and occupied by a non-profit theater, library, educational or scientific institution is also exempt from taxation, under the law.

Birmingham (32.87 acres)

• Roeper School, 1051 Oakland Ave., 2.03 acres.

• Boruch Cohen, 1578 Lakeside Drive, .61 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 550 Merrill, .43 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 771 Chesterfield Ave., 7 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, Seaholm and Midvale Schools, 2436 W. Lincoln, 9.46 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, Pierce School, 1829 Pierce, unlisted acres.

• Birmingham Schools, Derby Middle School, 1300 Derby, unlisted acres.

• Birmingham Schools, unlisted address, 6.11 acres. 

• Birmingham Board of Education, 2305 Cole, .95 acres.

• Eton Academy, 1775 E. Melton, 1.85 acres and 4.43 acres.

Bloomfield Hills ( 380 acres)

• Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Road, 3.4 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, 39221 Woodward 15.47 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, 55 Kingsbrook Ln., 1.87 acres, 1.75 acres, 1.67 acres, 1.69 acres.

• Lawrence Institute of Technology, 40925 Woodward Ave., 2.23 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, unlisted address, 6.25 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, unlisted address, .37 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, unlisted address, 7.2 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, 945 Cranbrook, 3.91 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, 700 Cranbrook, 4.34 acres.

• Childrens School Trust, unlisted address, 4.73 acres.

• Cranbrook Schools, 500 Lone Pine Road, 1.3 acres, 2.39 acres, .91 acres.

Bloomfield Township (550 acres)

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 1219 E. Square Lake Road, 44.658 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 1383 E. Square Lake Road, 34.248 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, no address, 6.63 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 1661 Hunter’s Ridge Dr., 1.223 acres; 14.169 acres; 4.548 acres, 6.752 acres. 

• Muslim Unity Center, 1830 W. Square Lake Rd., 5.164 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 2800 Lahser Road, .855 acres; 26.552 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 3325 Franklin Road, 30.158 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unlisted address, 4.405 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 3456 Lahser, 7.91 acres; 35.887 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 2800 Kensington Road, 31.059 acres.

• Community College District, 2480 Opdyke Road, 4.53 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 1020 E. Square Lake Road, 20.272 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 1101 Westview Road, 17.391 acres.

• Christian Leadership Academy, 3570 Telegraph, 5.593 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 4200 Andover, .882 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 4175 Andover, 4.291 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 765 W. Long Lake Road, 19.67 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 4200 Andover Road, 38.255 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, unlisted address, 18.092 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 4200 Quarton Road, 24.924 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 4100 Quarton Road, 16.694 acres.

• The Towbes Foundation, 5045 Ponvalley Road, 2.86 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 3595 N. Adams, 9.96 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 1525 Covington Road, 17.426 acres, 2.322 acres.

• Detroit Country Day, 3600 S. Bradway Blvd., 3.371 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 6275 Inkster Road, 18.319 acres.

• Birmingham Schools, 7100 Lindenmere Drive, 1.607 acres; .162 acres; 9.5 acres; .1380 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Schools, 7273 Wing Lake Road, 7.47 acres, 10.5 acres.

• Congregation Beth El, 7400 Telegraph, 25.852 acres.

• Detroit County Day School, 3003 W. Maple, .23 acres.

• Detroit County Day School, 3003 W. Maple, 9.37 acres.

• IHM St. Mary’s Academy, 7225 Lahser, 11.586 acres.

• IMH St. Mary’s Academy, 7275 Lahser, 1.69 acres.

• IHM St. Mary’s Academy, 7225 Lahser, 1.658 acres.

• Archdiocese of Detroit, 7101 Lahser, 15.531 acres.

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS

Religious exemptions are one of the most common exemptions in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. Under state law, houses of public worship are specifically addressed as tax-exempt real estate. In addition to houses of workshop, Michigan tax law allows for exemptions of memorial homes or posts, young men’s or women’s Christian associations, burial grounds and other similar uses. Religious exemptions remain in effect until the property is used for a different, unqualified purpose.

Birmingham (55.25 acres)

• Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1113 N. Old Woodward, .08 acres.

• Archdiocese of Detroit, 656 Greenwood Street, .2 acres.

• Holy Name, 645 Woodland Street, .22 acres.

• Archdiocese of Detroit, 647 Vinewood Ave., .16 acres.

• Holy Name Parish, 608 Harmon, 3.34 acres.

• Chester Street Partners, 191 N. Chester Street, .4 acres.

• First Baptist, 300 Willits Street, .56 acres.

• Christian Science Reading Room, 355 E. Maple Road, .1 acres.

• First United Methodist, 1589 W. Maple, .34 acres.

• Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1800 W. Maple, .24 acres, 6.04 acres.

• First Presbyterian, 1669 w. Maple, .45 acres.

• First Baptist, 300 Willits, .3 acres.

• First Presbyterian, 1669 W. Maple, .15 acres and 6.76 acres.

• First United Methodist, 1669 W. Maple, .15 and 6.76 acres.

• First United Methodist, 1589 W. Maple, 9.42 acres.

• St. James, 355 W. Maple, .57 acres.

• Grace Baptist, 1171 Cedar Drive, .38 acres.

• Grace Baptist, 280 E. Lincoln, 1.19 acres

• Our Shepherd Lutheran, 1658 E. Lincoln 8.91 acres, 8.53 acres.

Bloomfield Township (151.19 acres)

• St. Paul Methodist, 165 E. Square Lake Road, 3.302 acres.

• St. George Hellenic, 43816 Woodward, 6.773 acres.

• The Church in Bloomfield, unknown address, 1.149 acres.

• The Church in Bloomfield, 1442 W. Square Lake Road, 1.099 acres.

• Hughes St. Church of Christ, 1400 Franklin, 1.6 acres.

• The Franklin Rd Church, unknown address, 0.596 acres.

• Muslim Unity Center, 1771 Maplewood Ave., .918 acres, .123 acres, .7440 acres.

• Beautiful Savior, 1260 Whitmore Road, .834 acres.

• Beautiful Savior, 5631 N. Adams Road, 5.574 acres.

• Convent of Sacred Heart, 1250 Kensington Road, 39.958 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills Baptist, 3600 Telegraph Road, 1.801 acres.

• Kirk In The Hills, 1340 W. Long Lake Road, 10.849 acres, 1.31 acres, .239 acres.

• Kirk In the Hills, 1420 W. Long Lake Road, 30.843 acres, 3.228 acres.

• Shalom Fellowship International, 1752 Alexander Drive, 1 acre.

• Cross of Christ, 1100 Lone Pine Road, 5.864 acres.

• Assumption of Virgin Mary, 4839 Mayflower Ct., .729 acres.

• Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, 1.245 acres.

• Pilgrim Congregational, 3061 N. Adams Road, 3.965 acres.

• JARC, 5920 Indianwood Trail, 1.486 acres.

• Chaldean Catholic, 2.070 acres.

• St. Owens, 6869 Franklin Road, 13.117 acres.

• Christian Brothers Institute, 7350 Parkstone Lane, 1.327 acres.

• First United Methodist, 154 S. Cranbrook Crossing.2510 acres.

• Archdiocese of Detroit, 7315 Lahser Road, 1.66 acres, 1.67 acres.

• Adam Maida, 1640 Orchard Lane, 1.59 acres.

• Nativity Episcopal Church, 21220 W. 14 Mile, 4.933 acres.

Bloomfield Hills (79.79 acres)

• St. Hugo of the Hills, 2401 Opdyke Road, 4.74 acres.

• George A Roeper, 41190 Woodward, 0 acres.

• St. Hugo of the Hills, 2401 Opdyke Road, unlisted acres.

• Archdiocese of Detroit, 2151 Opdyke Road, 1.2 acres.

• The Legion of Christ, 2460 Opdyke Road, 2.41 acres.

• Congregational Church, 1000 Cranbrook Road, 8.99 acres.

• The Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1.04 acres.

• The Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1.04 acres.

• The Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1.91 acres.

• Birmingham Unitarian 38651 Woodward, .96 acres.

• Birmingham Unitarian, 38651 Woodward, 2.82 acres.

• Christ Church of Cranbrook, 355 Cranbrook Road, 1.39 acres.

• Christ Church of Cranbrook, 355 Cranbrook Road, 1.68 acres.

• Christ Church of Cranbrook, 355 Cranbrook Road, 4.79 acres

• Christ Church of Cranbrook, 355 Cranbrook Road, 1.25 acres.

• Greater Grace Temple of the Apostolic Faith, 45 Orchard Lane, 1.94 acres.

• Latter Day Saints, 37425 Woodward, 2.15 acres.

• Latter Day Saints, 37425 Woodward, 5.3 acres.

• Manreas Jesuit Retreat House, 1390 Quarton Road, 36.18 acres.



GOVERNMENT EXEMPTIONS

One of the most common exemptions in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area comes in the form of government exemptions. The state tax code allows for tax exemptions on land owned by the federal, state, county and local governments. Such exemptions include road easements, monitoring wells, government owned buildings, parks and other land.

Birmingham (92.63 acres)

• Springdale Golf Course, 300 Strathmore, unspecified acreage.

• Birmingham, unspecified park, .9 acres.

• Birmingham, Greenwood Cemetery, 9.26 acres.

• Birmingham, 151 Martin Road, .15 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified park, 7.26 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified park, .73 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .27 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .84 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .19 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .09 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.06 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified park, .7 acres.

• Birmingham, Allen Houses, 556 W. Maple, 2.79 acres.

• Birmingham, 475 N. Old Woodward, 4.37 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1 acre.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .08 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .12 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .7 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .05 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .01 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .06 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .07 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .03 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1.46 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .51 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .38 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .34 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1.03 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .06 acres.

• Birmingham, Chesterfield Fire Station, 1600 W. Maple, 1.37 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1.48 acres.

• Lincoln Hills Golf Course, 2666 W. 14 Mile Road.

• Detroit SMSA LTD., 1004 S. Cranbrook Rd., unspecified acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .06 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.11 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .29 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified vacant park, .73 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.24 acres.

• Birmingham, 1790 Norfolk, .2 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .47 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .17 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .55 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.89 acres.

• Birmingham, Baldwin Park, .63 acres.

• Birmingham, Chester Street Parking Structure, 180 S. Chester, 2 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 3.4 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1.14 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 1.97 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .11 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .59 acres.

• Birmingham, Adams Fire Station, 572 S. Adams, 1.05 acres.

• Birmingham, 746 Purdy Street, 8.93 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .26 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 3.58 acres.

• Christine Bakalis, 1424 Henrietta, Douglas Blackburn, .14 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .11 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.33 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 2.23 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .49 acres.

• Douglas McDonald, 2534 Manchester, .17 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, 5.5 acres.

• United States Postal Service, 1221 Bowers, .71 acres.

• United States Postal Service, 1225 Bowers Street, 2.22 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .12 acres.

• Birmingham, 851 S. Eton, 4.09 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .33 acres.

• Herman Fleischer, 1208 Bird Ave., .11 acres.

• Oakland County Treasurer, 1223 E. 14 Mile Road, .11 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .6 acres.

• Birmingham, unspecified address, .29 acres.

• Birmingham, 2300 E. Lincoln, unspecified acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, 1.35 acres.

Bloomfield Township (106.48 acres)

• City of Detroit, 6201 N. Adams, 17.438 acres.

• United States Postal Service, 2050 South Boulevard, 5.106 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .192 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 4.101 acres.

• Bloomfield, Fire Station No. 4, 2389 Franklin Road, .779 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 2.7 acres.

• Bloomfield, 935 Golf Drive, 3.127 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 1.943 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 1.917 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 1.409 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .685 acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, .118 acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, .117 acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, .133 acres.

• Daly Drain Drainage District, unspecified address, .206 acres.

• Daly Drain Drainage District, unspecified address, .191 acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, .221 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .137 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .1590 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .544 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .1 acres.

• State Highway Department, unspecified address, .11 acres.

• State Highway Department, unspecified address, .036 acres.

• Michigan Department of Transportation, unspecified address, .78 acres.

• Oakland Road Commission, unspecified address, .78 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .779 acres.

• Bloomfield Fire Station 2, 1063 Westview, .514 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, 1.16 acres.

• Oakland Road Commission, unspecified address, .208 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .647 acres.

• Bloomfield, 4200 Telegraph, .694 acres.

• Bloomfield, 4190 Dublin Dr., .818 acres.

• Township Hall, 4200 Telegraph, 6.473 acres.

• Bloomfield, 4280 Telegraph, 6.85 acres.

• Oakland County, unspecified address, .021 acres.

• Oakland Road Commission, unspecified address, .1820 acres.

• Michigan Department of Transportation, unspecified address, .416 acres.

• Michigan Department of Transportation, .207 acres.

• State Highway Department, 5380 Telegraph, 1.12 acres.

• Bloomfield Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road, 7.72 acres.

• State Highway Department, unspecified address, .75 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .289 acres.

• Industrial Land Co., unspecified address, 1.56 acres.

• Industrial Land Co., unspecified address, 1.57 acres.

• SEMTA, unspecified address, 1.82 acres.

• Industrial Land Co., unspecified address, 1.59 acres.

• Industrial Land Co., unspecified address, 2.856 acres.

• Industrial land Co., 291 Strathmore, 2.066 acres.

• Oakland Road Commission, unspecified address, .241 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .143 acres.

• R/W, GTRR, unspecified address, .315 acres.

• Bloomfield Village Protective Association, unspecified address, .129 acres.

• Bloomfield, unspecified address, .309 acres.

• Bloomfield, 3595 S. Bradway Boulevard, .351 acres.

• Bloomfield Water Corp., unspecified address, .423 acres.

• Bloomfield Village Protective Association, unspecified address, .973 acres.

• Wing Lake, 6490 Wing Lake Road, 0.633 acres, 0.684 acres, 3.126 acres.

• Franklin Sub-watershed Drain, unspecified address, 8.488 acres.

• Bloomfield Well Site, 489 Westbourne Dr., 3.2 acres.

Bloomfield Hills (79.79 acres)

• Bloomfield Hills, municipal building, 45 E. Long Lake Road., 1.35 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, 1.6 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, Department of Public Works, 1805 Kensington, .6 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, Department of Public Works, 1805 Kensington,1.67 acres

• Bloomfield Hills, Department of Public Works, 1805 Kensington, .19 acres.

• Frank Messana, 1500 Surria Ct., 1.05 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, 1.17 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, 4.5 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, .2 acres.

• Terrence Adderly Trust, unspecified address, .2 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, Old GTRR, .67 acres.

• Bloomfield Hills, unspecified address, .91 acres.

• Consulate General of Japan, 310 Cranbrook Road, 2 acres.

A review of tax-exempt properties in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area supports the notion that the majority of tax-exempt land is simply the cost of building a community, as Birmingham’s Robin Boyle stated. However, as more communities struggle with revenue sources, it may be wise for municipalities to review their tax policies on a regular basis, according to Wayne State University Law Professor John Mogk.

“That is something to take a look at,” he said. “They might conclude that tax-exempt status is in the best interest and not change anything, but it’s a good idea for municipalities to examine their tax policies from time to time.”

Mogk, who serves as the chair of the Michigan Council on Labor and Economic Growth, recently stated in a column in the Detroit News that the city of Detroit may want to look at tax-exempt properties as a way of bolstering revenue.

“That was in the context of eliminating real property tax in Detroit because residents have such a low median income that they can’t afford to pay for all the general life expenses, such as home maintenance and property tax,” Mogk said. “If you eliminate residential real property tax, you have to find new revenue.”

Mogk said such a plan may help to reduce foreclosures and associated blight in Detroit. However, doing so may require looking at reducing current tax-exempt properties.

“I would say that if there weren’t the amount of tax foreclosures that are going on in Detroit, there’s most likely not a need to reassess tax exempt properties. The reason they receive an exemption is that there is a public service to be served.”

 

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