Plan passes Michigan House and Senate, now heading to governor
Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, and the state House of Representatives Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a plan to provide tax relief to families in Midland County devastated by severe flood damage after the failure of the Edenville Dam.
Glenn said the measure will provide more flexibility for 2020 summer property taxes, which will help families in Bay and Midland counties who are fighting to recover from flooding and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This plan will provide welcome financial flexibility and peace of mind for people in our communities at a time they desperately need it,” Glenn said.
House Bill 5761 allows a business or residential property owner who isn’t able to pay summer property taxes to have those taxes deferred without any penalties or interest. The property owner simply has to sign an affidavit stating they’ve been economically impacted by the pandemic or recent flooding, both of which led to state of emergency declarations.
Related legislation, HB 5810, provides temporary cash flow assistance for local governments facing shortfalls because of late tax payments. Property tax payments make up a pivotal source of revenue for local governments and fund services residents rely on every day.
“Initially, House Bills 5761 and 5810 did not include support for those in Midland, Sanford, and other areas impacted by flood damage,” Glenn said on the House Floor today. “The bills have now returned to this chamber from the Senate, and I’m pleased with the much-needed changes. In addition to helping those affected by COVID-19 and the economic shutdown of Michigan, these bills now also help property owners in communities ravaged by flooding. Both events have affected lives and livelihoods in unimaginable ways.”
In many Michigan communities, summer property taxes are due between July and mid-September. If signed by the governor, these measures would give property owners who suffer economic hardship from the Midland County floods until May 2021 to pay the bill without penalty or interest.