Flint, MI—After Flint City Council failed to decide on whether to accept more than 600 tax-reverted properties from Genesee County by a Dec. 17 deadline, the city’s administrator took action.
Every year, the city receives a list of properties from the Genesee County Treasurer offering Flint the right to object to the transfer of properties to the city where property owners did not pay taxes. If Flint does not object, the properties are automatically transferred to the city.
“The city council rejects the properties, usually,” said Genesee County Treasurer Deb Cherry. “Which makes the most sense, to be honest, because the land bank is set up to handle these properties.”
This year, due to a lack of quorum, Flint City Council failed to vote on a resolution objecting to the transfer of these properties at a Dec. 16 special meeting.
With a Dec. 17 deadline given by the county treasurer’s office, Flint City Administrator, Clyde Edwards, instead sent the required objection letter to the treasurer without City Council’s vote, Cherry said.
“The city administrator sent a letter rejecting the properties, so that means that the properties will not go to the city…They’ll be transferred to the land bank,” said Cherry.
Cherry confirmed that she received the letter at roughly 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 17.
At the same time, Flint City Council President Eric Mays was questioning the administration’s action.
“Why would they do all of that public display and demonstration—appealing to the council—if they could simply send a letter of rejection?” he asked. “Now they can say, ‘Well, you know, we’re talking in partnership and the council didn’t act.’ Yes, we did. It’s on the agenda for Monday.”
Mays said that Flint City Council still has the resolution on its upcoming Dec. 20 agenda, but the letter from Edwards could make the resolution unnecessary.
“As far as I’m concerned: it’s complete. It’s finished,” said Cherry. “We have what we need. We have a lot of work we’ve got to do within the next two weeks to get ready to transfer those properties, and this allows us to do that.”
Edwards could not be reached for comment by press time.