Tri-Cities gets $3.4M windfall

Northwest Ottawa County governments received a cut of more than $10 million in delinquent property tax payments distributed by Ottawa County Treasurer Bradley Slagh. "Even though this dollar amount seems very large, the good news is that - for the third year in a row - the volume of delinquent properties and dollar amounts have continued to decrease,' Slagh said.
Alex Doty
Apr 25, 2012

Slagh said possible causes for this decrease include an improved economy in which homeowners and businesses can afford to pay their taxes, as well as banks that are more willing to pay taxes on mortgages they hold.

In Northwest Ottawa County, schools, units of government and libraries accounted for a total of $3,428,576.32 of delinquent tax payments from the county.

Ferrysburg City Manager Craig Bessinger said the payments were important, as it keeps the city whole for all of the taxes levied that aren’t paid by citizens.

“We get relief for all of the taxes we levy in the city," he said.

State law sets the payment of property taxes to be collected by the local government until March 1. After that time, the county treasurer must “purchase” any unpaid taxes from each local government by paying the entire taxes owed so that the schools, local governments and everyone else can keep operating.

“There are a lot of people who think schools and libraries get stuff for free," Loutit District Library Director John Martin said. "There is nothing for free. Nothing comes free just because there is a government entity.”

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

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