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Flint, MI– Flint City Council unanimously voted for Flint to opt in to the state of Michigan’s “Pay As You Stay” program aimed at providing affordable payment plans for struggling homeowners.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Pay as You Stay bill back in March of this year, allowing local treasurers to sign their county up to participate in the program.
The program, which is administered by Genesee County, will allow the government to reduce delinquent property taxes owed by homeowners who qualify for hardship exemptions.
According to a press release from the state, the program works in three parts.
- After getting enrolled, all interest, penalties, and fees are eliminated.
- The balance due is limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value — whichever is less.
- The remaining balance is paid back over three years with no interest.
At the city council meeting on Nov. 30, City Assessor Stacey Kaake gave an example:
“Say, you owe $10,000 worth of taxes, but your taxable value is only at $7,500, we’re going to drop what you owe to that $7,500,” she said. “So you’re basically writing off $2,500 for the people.”
Additionally, Kaake said if the homeowners are able to pay that amount within 60 days, they will get another 10% off of that amount.
“So that would drop it another $750,” she said.
But only people who qualify for hardship exemptions, can qualify for the program. Kaake read the federal guidelines for households to qualify this year:
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Kaake said the federal guidelines were lower than the city’s and that the city actually increased the amount by 15%. So, Flint residents can make 15% more than the amount in the federal guidelines and still qualify.
County Treasurer Deb Cherry said Flint is only the second local unit in the county to agree to participate in the program. Now that Flint is on board, she said people who qualify for the poverty exemption can begin to apply to participate in the program.
To find out how to participate, residents can email the county treasurers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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