Local treasurer’s legislative idea heads to Gov. Snyder for signature

LANSING — Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Proos to reduce local government administrative costs is on its way to the governor to be signed.

Senate Bills 322 and 323 would allow local governments to collect winter property tax payments of $100 or less in the summer property tax levy.

“I have had to mail out tax bills to property owners for amounts less than the cost of the postage stamp,” said St. Joseph City Treasurer and Clerk, Deb Koroch. “I brought this issue to John’s attention because I wanted communities to have the option of combining the winter and summer tax rolls when the winter taxes for most properties would be so small that the second tax bill would be a financial burden to the communities and an inconvenience to our taxpayers.”

To improve cash flow, many Michigan local governments now bill almost all local property tax in the summer. However, these local entities often have a small amount of tax levy that is billed in the winter, leading to mailing and processing tax bills and payments of $100 or less.

“This is about improving government efficiency and giving our locals the option of using their resources on other community priorities,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Giving local units of government the flexibility to spend the time, labor and money to collect less than $100 in property taxes in the summer is an inefficient use of our limited tax dollars. Eliminating the need to mail and collect winter tax bills of small amounts will help cut costs for thousands of Michigan small towns and townships.” 

It is estimated that the reforms would eliminate more than 100,000 winter tax bills that currently need to be mailed, as well as the processing of the related payments.

“The measures would not affect the amount of taxes owed by a property owner, and the decision to make this change would be left to local officials,” Proos said. “This is not a mandate. It is simply giving our communities the flexibility to make this change as a way to reduce costs.”

SBs 322-323 were supported by the Michigan Association of Counties and are now on their way to the governor, who is expected to sign the reforms into law.

###

Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”