Adding and Editing Levy Definitions

When creating new Tax Unit Control Records via Cloning, Levy Definition information is also copied.  It is best practice to review the levies to confirm they are all still valid, but for the most part, these copied definitions should require minimal editing.  It is not unusual to have a few new taxes levied each year – especially after an election.  These new levies need to be added to each unit affected prior to calculating tax bills. 

Note: Pontem strives to be as helpful as possible when it comes to explaining the function of the Tax Administration software and troubleshooting issues.  However, beyond the actual functionality of the software, most of the Levy Definition process requires knowledge of tax laws and rules – information you as the end user will need to know in order to make correct choices when entering data into the various definition fields. 

Advice regarding tax law is not something your Pontem software specialist can provide.  This information will come from your co-workers, board, and the professional associations to which your organization belongs.  To get you started here are some links to resources many of our clients find useful.

State of Michigan Treasury Department
Michigan Townships Association
Michigan Association of County Treasurers
Michigan Legislature
The General Property Tax Act – Act 206 of 1893

How to Add or Edit a Levy Definition

To view or edit Levy Definitions, select Tax Roll Setup and highlight the Tax Period and Tax Unit you wish to make changes to, then click the ‘Tax Levy Definitions’ on the View tab to display the Levy List.

  1. Navigate to the Tax Roll Setup workspace.  When navigating to this workspace the software will display a list of Tax Unit Control Records. 

    Note: Levy definitions are found by navigating to a Tax Unit Control Record to which a levy has been associated.   There is not comprehensive list view of the levies in the system.   However, the ‘Tax Levy Definitions Report’ shows a list of all levies associated with all tax units.  You can access this report by clicking the Print button at the top of the workspace.  You will need to adjust the filter to select the ‘long form’ version of the report.
  2. To view a list of levies associated with a Control Record, select (double click) the Control Record from the list and then click Tax Levy Definitions.  The workspace will change to display a list of the Levies associated with the Tax Unit Control Record you selected. 

  3. To edit an existing levy, select it from the list and click the Edit button. The General Tab for the selected Levy will be displayed.
    To create a new Levy, first click on the General Tab, then click New.

  4. Add or update the information on the General Tab.
    1. The Tax Code is a unique identifier for the Levy Definition, it is limited to 8 characters (letters or numbers). The Tax Code determines the order (Alpha Numeric) in which a levy will be printed on the tax bill and the order the levies are paid in the event of a partial payment.
    2. Ignore the Alt Code field unless you need to identify this levy for import into Manatron software. 
    3. The Tax Description is the text that will print on the tax bill, it should be descriptive enough to represent to the tax payer what the levy item on their bill is for.
    4. The Report Title is used on reports as a column heading. It should be an abbreviated version of the Tax Description.
    5. The Calculation Method indicates which mathematical formula will be used to calculate the levy when bills are created. Depending on the calulation method selected, additional fields will be displayed where you will populate the needed rate, multiplier, etc…
      1. M – Millage Against Taxable = taxable value x millage rate
      2. F – Flat Rate = rate x multiplier
      3. H – School Operating = (taxable value – PRE exemption) x millage rate
      4. U – School Supplemental = PRE exemption x millage rate
      5. C – Commercial Forest Act Tax = parcel acreage x rate
      6. E – Millage Against Equalized = state equalized value x millage rate
      7. S – Special Assessments = Not Calculated, levy is imported or manually applied.  Note: A Drain Assessment is considered a Special Assessment and is assigned a Calculation Method of ‘S’.
    6. The Authority assigned to a Levy Definition determines the subtotal category for the levy, it helps determine how levies are grouped for the disbursements of collections.
    7. Ignore the Disburse To field.  It is assigned by the County Treasurer for the Delinquent Tax process and is not a setting needed for tax calculations.
    8. Check the appropriate Subject To: checkboxes. This determines if the levy is subject to interest if paid late in the collection process.
      1. Penalty  - determines if the levy is subject to penalty if paid late in the collection process.
      2. Admin Fee - determines which levies are included in the calculation of the Admin Fee that is applied to the tax bill.  In most cases, special assessments are not subject to Admin Fee.
      3. IFT/CFT Full Rate - A parcel identified as an IFT New Construction is taxed at half the current millage rate.  Checking the IFT/CFT Full Rate option to force these New Construction parcels to calculate at the full millage rate.
      4. TIFA Distribution – This setting relates to the collection and disbursement of the levies involved and does not affect tax calculations.  This option is NOT related to the TIFA Code restrictions.
      5. RenZone Exemption - Parcels existing in a defined Renaissance Zone are exempt in full or in part from some levies, setting this option will make the adjustments to the levy calculation for those parcels identified with the exemption.  If this option is not checked, Renaissance Zone parcels will be taxed at the full millage rate.
    9. Click Save in order to proceed to another tab.
  5. Click on the Restrictions Tab, and then click the Edit button.
  6. Use the include and exclude options to add restrictions to the Levy.
    • Restrictions are used to define exactly which parcels will be included (or excluded) from a levy.  Several different restriction categories are available and can be used in any combination required.
    • A levy with no restrictions will be applied to every parcel.  Most levies do require a restriction in one form or another.
    • In some situations it may be more efficient to Exclude one or two items than to Include a dozen.
    • The Summary of Restrictions area shows each of the current restrictions on the Levy definition.
    • Restrictions are cumulative, a parcel must meet ALL of the restriction requirements to have the levy applied to the tax bill.
    • Click Save in order to proceed to another tab.
  7. If desired, use the Parcel ranges tab to define the parcels included or excluded from the Levy. Click on the tab and click Edit.
    1. Enter the beginning and ending Parcel Number for the range of parcels, to specify a single parcel enter the same number for both the beginning and ending values.
      The Parcel Range is basically an alternative to using the Restrictions Tab.  However, managing restrictions using parcels ranges generally requires more maintenance and is generally more difficult to manage as changes occur over time.
    2. Click Save in order to proceed to another tab.
  8. If desired, Edit or add data on the GL Accounts Tab. The information entered on this tab is associated with the collection process to transfer collection information into accounting software.  It is not necessary to complete this information prior to calculating tax bills.
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