Frequently Asked Questions

 We have listed several of our most frequently asked questions for your reference. You can use the tabs to the left to navigate the list by department or topic. Please feel free to contact our office if the information you are looking for is not listed.

Assessing/Property Values
 Q: I think I am eligible for a Principal Residence Exemption but I didn't submit my form to the Assessor by June 1st. Can I still receive a PRE?
 A: Yes. If you did not submit your form to the assessor in time to have the exemption added to your property record, you may request the July or December Board of Review add the exemption. They have the authority to add the current year and up to three prior years.
 Q: What are assessments and when do they occur?
 A: Assessed Value (AV) is 50% of the True Cash Value (TCV) for the property as it existed on December 31. Assessment notices are mailed out to the taxpayers in February informing them of the what the values will be for the year.
 Q: When can I appeal my property assessment?
 A: Property assessments are appealed to the March Board of Review. This is held every year by law beginning on the second Monday in March. Caledonia Township generally has two days of hearings. You may appeal in person or by letter. If you wish to appeal in person, you must call for an appointment.
The March Board of Review has the ability to correct assessments, change property classification and grant poverty and veteran exemptions. If a residential property is not appealed to the march Board of Review, the assessment is final until the following year.
 Q: I purchased my home for less than two times my State Equalized Value, how can I get the State Equalized Value adjusted to half of my purchase price?
 A: The law defines the True Cash Value as the usual selling price of a property. The Legislature and the Courts have very clearly stated that the actual selling price is not a controlling factor in the True Cash Value or State Equalized Value as calculated by the assessor. For this reason, when analyzing sales for determining assessment changes, the assessor will review all sales, but excludes non-representative sales from the assessment analysis.
 Q: How do I apply for a land division?
 A: A land division application must be completely filled out and returned along with the appropriate funds and an approved survey of how you are proposing to divide the land. any questions regarding minimum township requirements should be directed to the Zoning Administrator. The number of splits allowed per the State Land Division Act would be determined by the Assessor. Upon review of the completed application, a written response of approval or disapproval will be mailed to the property owner within 30 days of receipt of the application. If approved, the property owner has 60 days to record the new legal descriptions at the Kent County Register of Deeds office.
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Building Department/Building Permits
 Q: When is a building permit required?
 A: The 2009 Michigan Building Code requires when one intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupant of a building or structure, or to erect, install, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit. Section 105.1 lists a long description of the repairs that do not require a permit.
 Q: Who can apply for a building permit?
 A: Application for a permit can be submitted by the owner or lessee of a building or agent of either or by the registered design professional employed in connection with the proposed work. 
 Q: What are the documents needed when submitting an application for a building permit?
 A: See our Building Permit Checklist
 Q: When will an Occupancy Permit be issued?
 A: See our Occupancy Requirements
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Clerk/Election/Cemetery Information
 Q: How can I get an absentee ballot?
 A: You must submit a completed absentee application to the Clerk's office. You may mail, email or hand deliver it to the Township Office. If you choose to apply for your ballot in person, you must have your photo ID with you.  If you submit your application by mail or email, you ballot will be mailed to you. For more information on absentee voting, click here.
 Q: Can someone else pick up my ballot on my behalf?
 A: No. Michigan Election Law states that un-voted Absentee Ballots may only be issued to the voter either in person or by mail. Ballots may not be given to a spouse or any other person on behalf of the voter.
 Q: When does my ballot have to be returned? 
 A: Your ballot must be received in the Clerk's office by the close of polls (8:00pm) on election day in order to be processed.
Q: How much do cemetery plots cost?
A: Fees are based on residency. If you are a Caledonia Township resident plot fees are $200/ plot. For non-residents the fee is $500/plot.
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Fire Department/Fire Safety
Q: How Do I become a Caledonia Township Paid On-Call (POC) Firefighter?
 A: If you are interested in becoming a POC firefighter for Caledonia Township you must be at least 18 years of age and a current resident of Caledonia Township. You must submit a completed application to the fire department either by mail or in person. Applications can be obtained from the Caledonia Township web site under the 'I want to...' tab then select 'Apply for Employment'. 
 Q: How do I schedule a fire truck to attend my event?
 A: Contact the Fire Department administration office by phone or email to schedule appearance of one of the apparatus at your event.
 Q: Can I get my blood pressure checked at the fire station? 
 A: Yes. You are welcome to stop by the fire station during staffed hours and request your blood pressure be taken by on of the on duty firefighters. The fire station is located at 8192 Broadmoor Ave SE.
 Q: Does the fire department fill swimming pools? 
 A: No, we do not fill swimming pools. However, if you live in an area where there are fire hydrants near your home you can apply for a hydrant permit through the Township Utilities Department. 
 Q: Who do I call if I have an issue with a fire hydrant?
 A: If you have an issue with a fire hydrant in Caledonia Township, please contact the Township Utilities Department.
 Q: Do you install car seats or do car seat inspections?
 A: Yes, by appointment only. The Caledonia Township Fire Department currently has one Certified Car Seat Technician. Please contact Lt. Kyle Fennell via email at or phone at 616.891.0140 ext 223 to schedule an appointment.
 Q: How do I get a burn permit?
 A: Burn permits can be obtained by calling the Caledonia Township Fire Department at 616.891.0140. You must call the day you are burning and be prepared to give your address, the material you plan to burn and the approximate size of the pile to one of the on duty firefighters.
 Q: How do I get a copy of a Fire Department Incident Report?
 A: You may be granted a copy of an incident report under the Freedom of Information Act. Please submit your request in writing to Jennifer Venema, Township Clerk. Click here for a FOIA Request form.
 Q: Where should I place smoke detectors/alarms?
 A: the NFPA recommends that smoke alarms be placed inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area, on every level of the home, in the basement, on the ceiling or high on a wall, and away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms (at least ten feet away from the stove).
 Q: Where should I place Carbon Monoxide detectors/alarms?
 A: The NFPA recommends that Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms be placed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
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Treasurer/Tax Information
 Q: When are Summer taxes billed?
 A: Summer taxes are billed the first week of July and are due on September 14.
 Q: When are Winter taxes billed?
 A: Winter taxes are billed the first week of December and are due February 14.
 Q: What happens if I pay my tax bill late?
 A: Tax payments received after the due date will be subject to additional fees and interest as prescribed by law. If your payment is late, please contact the Treasurer's Office for the amount due.
 Q: Why is my mortgage company listed on my tax bill? 
 A: If your mortgage company is listed on your tax bill, we have already sent a copy of the bill to them. However, it is still your responsibility to make sure they pay your taxes from your escrow account. 
 Q: How do I know if I am receiving the Principle Residence Exemption? 
 A: A Principle Residence Exemption Affidavit must have been filed with the Township in order to be eligible for the Homestead Exemption. If the line titled "Cal School Oper" on your tax bill says "EXEMPT" then you are receiving the Homestead Exemption.
 Q: I am a Village resident, which tax bill include my Village taxes?
 A: Village taxes are included as a line item on the Township Summer tax bill.
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Zoning Department
 Q: Are there certain rules or ordinances that pertain to the parking of my recreational vehicle on my parcel in a residential zoning district?
 A: Yes, depending on the residential zoning district you live in: a) Agricultural and Rural Residential District - recreational vehicles have no restrictions. b) R-1, R-2, & R-3 Residential Districts - recreational vehicles can not be located within any setback of these districts. Please contact the Zoning Administrator if you need verification on what the setbacks are in your district.
 Q: Do I need a permit in order to have a business in my home or accessory building?
 A: Yes, you do need a permit which does have a one-time application fee. Click here to learn more about home based business permits. 
 Q: How big of an accessory building may I have on my parcel?
 A: Initially it depends on the zoning district that a person lives in. Zoning districts area as follows: a) Agricultural and Rural Residential - you may have up to a 1200 sq. ft. for the first 2 full acres, additional acreage can allow for more square footage. b) R-1 - the maximum allowed is 792 sq. ft. c) R_2 - the maximum allowed is 594 sq. ft. d) R-3 - the maximum allowed is 396 sq. ft.
 Q:  How many dogs can I have on my parcel?
 A: A resident is limited to having three dogs, and they must be licensed through the Kent County Animal Shelter.
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