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New bill could give struggling Michigan property owners relief

Michigan Senate Bill 243 would provide property tax relief to struggling businesses and residents
Michigan Senate Bill 243 would provide property tax relief to struggling businesses and residents
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 29, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Relief could be on the way for thousands of Michiganders who are having trouble paying their 2020 summer property taxes

Michigan Senate Bill 243 would amend current property tax laws and grant relief to business and residential property owners who have fallen behind on their summer 2020 taxes due to the pandemic.

The proposal would allow property owners to apply to the Michigan Department of Treasury by April 15th to have the state pay for any interest or penalties charged for unpaid summer taxes.

State Senator Michael McDonald, who is sponsoring the legislation, says $300 million has already been earmarked to pay for the effort.

“First of all, its bipartisan. Its just obvious the people who have been penalized for this for things that are out of their control, the state should help them with. So I think it’s a no-brainer," McDonald said.

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing said he’s confident this bill will gain approval.

“Probably everybody on both sides of the political aisle is supportive of relief to businesses and individuals that are struggling from COVID or other things related to COVID caused them to fall behind on property taxes," Schertzing said.

Clinton County Treasurer Tina Ward said delinquent tax bills for the summer of 2020 were just turned over to county treasurers' offices this month. She said she's seen decline in the number of delinquencies.

“In Clinton County our delinquent rates for the 2020 tax year have actually decreased. Our delinquency rate for 2020 is 2.38 percent versus our 2019 property tax delinquency rate was 2.64 percent," said Ward.

Ward says she thinks delinquencies are down because people used stimulus payments to stay current on their bills. Schertzing agrees.

“Folks got those stimulus dollars and when those checks hit bank accounts we see payments. There’s a direct connection between those two events. So 2021 looks very much like 2020," Schertzing said.

McDonald is hoping the bill will come up for a vote when the legislature reconvenes on April 12.

Clinton County treasurer, Tina Ward, says anyone who is struggling to pay property taxes should reach out to the treasurer’s office right away because there are many programs in place already that can help.

You can get more information about your county treasurer's offices at the following links: