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Rep. Lower proposal provides relief and fairness for those facing tax hardship during COVID-19 shutdown
RELEASE|June 18, 2020

People affected by COVID-19 shutdown would have additional time to pay

Proposals from state Rep. James Lower granting more flexibility for 2020 summer property taxes were passed unanimously today by the Michigan House.

House Bill 5761 allows a business or personal property owner who isn’t able to pay summer property taxes for this year to have their fees or interest waived if they sign an affidavit stating they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Related legislation, HB 5810, requires local tax collectors to accept partial payments, suspend added fees or interest and return any unpaid property tax information to the county treasurer on Oct. 1.

The bills also provide temporary cash flow assistance for local governments facing shortfalls because of late tax payments.

“People haven’t been able to work or make a living due to COVID-19 and the governor’s decisions in response. They’re struggling to pay bills and put food on the table for their families,” said Lower, of Greenville. “I want to provide them with a little peace of mind, and these proposals operate similarly to ones extending state and federal income tax deadlines.

“Property tax revenue is also something that is essential for local governments as they work to pay for services we rely on in our communities. So we have to generate a balance with these aspects and this plan helps to accomplish that.”

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chose to label businesses as essential or non-essential, putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Nearly 2.2 million Michigan residents have filed jobless claims since mid-March.

HBs 5761 and 5810 now move to the Senate for further consideration.

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