Save On Taxes


                     Read how you can increase the value of your property without increasing your property taxes!

Did you know that you can make home improvements that increase the value of your home without adding the cost of higher taxes?

Michigan's Mathieu-Gast Home Improvement Act guarantees that the assessor cannot consider any increase in True Cash Value resulting from normal repairs, replacement, and maintenance made or completed after December 30, 1976, when determining the True Cash Value of the whole property, i.e., its assessment. This increase is not included in the assessment until the property is sold.

A well-maintained home could possibly mean a faster sale and better price when you go to sell your home. 


The following are considered normal repairs and are eligible for exclusion from the True Cash Value if not part of new construction:

  • exterior painting
  • repairing or replacing siding, roof, porches, steps, sidewalks and drives
  • repainting, repairing or replacing existing masonry
  • adding or replacing gutters and downspouts
  • replacing storm windows or doors
  • insulation or weather-stripping
  • rewiring
  • replacing plumbing and light fixtures
  • new furnace, replacing a furnace of the same type or replacing oil or gas burner
  • plaster repairs, inside painting or other redoracting
  • new ceiling, wall or floor surfacing
  • removing partitions to enlarge rooms
  • replacing automatic hot water heater
  • replacing interior woodwork
  • replacing existing awnings

In some municipalities, assessors routinely exclude painting and other routine repairs when determining the True Cash Value.  They may also know about repair work automatically from building permits.  If you want to be sure your improvements are excluded, however, you should apply.  You must file Form 865 with your local assessor by the end of the year of the year the repairs, replacement or maintenance took place.  Please confirm with the municipality how often this form must be filed in order to continue the tax benefit.

If you do not file for non-consideration of the improvements, the assessor may have no grounds on which to exclude your improvements.  Work that is done without a permit - where on is require - will not qualify for exclusion.

Each year's assessments may only be appealed in that year, so any benefits of Mathieu-Gast not received in the past years are lost to the taxpayer.  However, any Mathieu-Gast improvements made after 1976 when the act took effect should be reported to the assessor.  Increase in value resulting from all such improvements can be excluded from future assessment.

I hope this information is useful to you.  Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can assist you further as your real estate professional.