Sterling boasts high property value rankings

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published March 2, 2018

 Residential development has been occurring on Lisa Marie Drive, near 19 Mile and Ryan roads, in Sterling Heights.

Residential development has been occurring on Lisa Marie Drive, near 19 Mile and Ryan roads, in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Deb Jacques

STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights is making its mark as a place with valuable property, according to a presentation at a Feb. 20 Sterling Heights City Council meeting.

City Manager Mark Vanderpool explained recent statistics that show Sterling Heights in the top tier of Michigan cities with the highest assessed property values. The statistics looked at state equalized value, or SEV, which equals half of a property’s market value.

“You want to be in the top tier; you don’t want to be in the bottom tier,” Vanderpool said. “And thankfully, we continue to rank very well.”

Overall, Sterling Heights ranked fifth among Michigan cities in 2017, with Ann Arbor having the highest SEV overall, and with Detroit, Troy and Grand Rapids following behind.

However, Sterling Heights ranks No. 1 against those communities when looking solely at total industrial property valuation, which was estimated at $409 million. The city is home to manufacturers, automakers and defense contractors.

Sterling Heights earned third place among the top five — behind Ann Arbor and Troy — for having an overall residential property valuation of around $3.7 billion.

“Often, homes are an individual’s largest asset, and it’s good to know if your asset is growing and how you compare with other benchmarks throughout the area and the state of Michigan,” Vanderpool said.

Sterling Heights had the highest overall SEV in Macomb County. Vanderpool said the communities that directly trailed Sterling Heights in the county in 2017 were Macomb Township, Shelby Township, Warren and Clinton Township.

According to Vanderpool, Sterling Heights also had the biggest jump in SEV among the top five communities in Macomb County, with around 3.9 percent of growth year over year, or $202.7 million.

“I think it validates that we’re headed in the right direction with all of our programs and everything going on on the economic development front,” he said.

Vanderpool said residents should be getting their property assessment notices mailed to them around the first week of March.

But the city manager clarified that while residential property has generally become more valuable, it doesn’t mean that taxes will increase at the same rate. Even if a particular plot’s value goes up 20 or 50 percent, the taxes can only go up by the inflation rate or 5 percent, whichever is less. This year, inflation is around 2 percent, Vanderpool said.

According to City Assessor Marcia Magyar-Smith, Sterling Heights properties should increase in value by the following amounts in 2018: Industrial should get a 10 percent boost, commercial should increase by 6 percent, and residential should rise 2.7 percent.

In a statement, Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said the city believes that SEVs will keep growing over the next few years.

“Strong property values and low taxes continue to make Sterling Heights an attractive community for homeowners and businesses,” Taylor said.  

“Proactive economic development initiatives offered from the city have led to billions of dollars in manufacturing investments, which have in turn generated new jobs and a demand for housing.”

Taylor also said that improvements to roads, parks and recreational amenities over the next few years could give property values a further boost.
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