Taxing change

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM

New rules state winter tax bills that total $100 or less will be accelerated and collected earlier as part of the millage approved for the summer property tax levy.

“To me, that’s a good thing,” City Finance Director Jim Bonamy said of the plan. “Let’s get reasonable, let's use the state law for its purpose.”

In June 2012, the Michigan Legislature passed public acts 184 and 1955 of 2012. These acts provide an option for local municipalities to have the tax bills collected earlier.

“If a tax payment was under $100, it could be moved forward to the summer tax season,” Bonamy said of the rules.

The city currently levies a 0.44 mill on the winter tax bill for County Emergency 911, a 0.3165 mill for Ottawa County Parks and a 0.12 mill for Loutit District Library debt.

According to Bonamy, the total 0.8765 mill levied results in very small winter tax bills for much of the city.

“There’s a significant number that are much smaller this year since schools moved forward their collection of taxes,” he said. “It makes great sense for us to do this right now.”

Of the city’s 6,051 parcels that are billed, about 2,300 have winter tax bills of $100 or less. The new laws allow the city to eliminate the time and expense in sending and collecting such small tax bills.

According to Bonamy, the city’s tax billing software provider is working to make a seamless transition to determine what taxpayers fall below the $100 threshold.

Mayor Geri McCaleb said she thought the change would be easier for residents with smaller payments in the winter.

“I’d think that it’s more convenient to take it at one time than split it up,” she said. “It’s a cost savings move and a convenience move.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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