Michigan Tax Records
This entry was originally written by Arleigh P. Helfer, Jr. and Carol L. Maki for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Property tax records at the county level usually date back to the first land records. Either the county treasurer or the register of deeds will be the custodian of these records.
Numerous early tax assessment and general tax rolls are available at the Michigan State Archives. Organized by county, the records include the name of the owner or occupant of the property, legal description and number of acres, value of land and personal estate, and amount of tax levied. There are tax rolls for some counties for the late 1830s, but most are for the last half of the nineteenth century. A complete list of these extensive rolls can be obtained from the State Archives Circular No. 1, Tax/Assessment Rolls at the State Archives. This circular also lists those tax rolls kept at the archives regional depositories (see Michigan Archives, Libraries, and Societies). Because of the complicated nature of tax records, in-person research at the archives is encouraged. National Archives—Great Lakes Region in Chicago holds numerous federal personal property and corporate tax assessment lists for the state of Michigan.