The Assessing Department is responsible for identifying and valuing all taxable real and personal property within Glen Arbor Township, in accordance with Michigan’s General Property Tax Laws.

BS&A Internet Services Link – current sales, assessment & tax payment infomation.  Create an account to access the Sale Search from the Internet Services Menu.  The sale search summary results are free.  Other Links: Property Tax Payment Information (Leelanau County Tax Database)

Maps – Parcel Sales & Assessments

Record Cards

Contact Information :

Glen Arbor Township Assessing Department
6394 W. Western Avenue, PO Box 276, Glen Arbor, MI  49636
Phone 231.334.3539 * Fax 231. 334.6370
Email:  [email protected]

Polly & Tim Cairns – Assessors

Polly Cairns:
Michigan Master Assessing Officer (4)
Certified General Real Estate Appraiser
Certified Personal Property Examiner

Tim Cairns:
Michigan Advanced Assessing Officer (3)
Certified Personal Property Examiner
CPA (Certified Public Accountant)


What is market value?
Market value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property. For a sale to be a market value (arms- length) sale, seller and buyer must be unrelated, buyer must be willing (but not under pressure) to buy, the property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and financing must be typical for that type of property.

How will I know if my assessment is equitable?

Guide to Basic Assessing, published May 2018

1) Can I sell my property for that amount?

The first thing that you should do is ask yourself if you could sell the property for approximately that amount. (Please note that assessments in Michigan reflect 50% of market value.) It is our goal, as your assessors, to comply with guidelines and have fair and equitable values a reasonable reflective market value.

2) Does the Assessing department have the correct information on my property?

You can review the information that the Assessing Department has collected on your property to make sure the data is accurate. Sales information, property record cards and maps are available for your review during normal office hours.

3) How much have similar properties in my neighborhood been assessed for?

If you do not have any recent sales activity in your local area, you can look up the assessed value of similar parcels that are located near your property. Please be aware that what may appear to be a similar parcel may in fact be very different from your property.

Additionally, we are happy to assist you with reviewing your property card or evaluation sales information.  We strive to have accurate information on all properties to accurately reflect the on-going area market.

The local assessor is responsible for annually reviewing every assessment in their taxing jurisdiction. Tax Day is December 31 of each year and the property is assessed at 50% of its ‘True Cash Value’ as of that date. The township assessor, through the local board of review, is the only agency that is allowed to change an individual assessment.

There are various reasons that your assessed and taxable values can increase. The assessed value represents 50% of the True Cash Value of the property and has no limit in which it can increase. Some of the reasons that an assessed value can increase is because of improvements made to the property and general market increases. Taxable values are capped at rate of inflation increases or 5%, whichever is less, unless there are new improvements made to the property.

The Assessing Department faces the responsibility and challenge of accurately and efficiently estimating the market value of taxable properties.  How well the challenge is met directly affects the proportion of local governmental costs borne by each and every property owner, as well as the effectiveness of local government in general.

Michigan Constitution and property tax law requires that all property be uniformly assessed at no more than 50% of true cash value, which is the cash price a property could bring in a competitive and open market.

General Property Tax Act [MCL211.1] requires real and personal property to be assessed annually in each township and city by a certified assessing officer.  Assessment roll must include the name and address of every person subject to taxation in the municipality.  The roll must also contain a full property description, including the number of acres.

Assessing department is required to maintain assessing records, which includes annual assessments, taxable values, and maintenance of name, address, legal descriptions and homestead information of each property in the township. Inspections of properties will be made to continually develop accurate assessing records.

Staff will be in the field periodically to measure and update photos. The use and distribution of this information provides an indirect benefit to any individual who wishes to buy, sell or finance property in the Township.

We hope this endeavor will further enhance the availability of information to the township residents.

We thank you for your cooperation and support!