Property tax deadline is approaching

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/26/17) - The deadline is approaching to pay property taxes, and thousands in Mid-Michigan are facing foreclosure, but there are programs that can help taxpayers catch up on back taxes.

Approximately 17,000 people have not paid their 2014 property taxes in Genesee County. Many don't intend to, but for those who do, there's an application that could help them catch up.

"For people who are faced with a hardship, we offer them the ability to extend that foreclosure for a year so they can make payments and get caught up," said Deb Cherry, Genesee County treasurer.

In Genesee County last year, about 1,000 people applied for the postponement program. There's a fairly simple form to fill out and the taxpayer has to make an appointment with the treasurer's office. The taxpayer will be offered a down payment on the back taxes.

"What we do is set up a payment plan with them so they can make monthly payments and hopefully get caught up," Cherry said.

Not only do they have to pay the 2014 taxes, but there are penalties to take care of.

"The fees and the interest that gets added on is really high," Cherry said.

So, it's in the property owner's best interest to pay off the taxes as quickly as possible.

"The earlier that people pay it off, the better it is for them financially," Cherry said.

Nearly 1,700 properties in Genesee County were foreclosed last year; seventy percent of them were in the city of Flint.

Other counties have similar catch up programs; Saginaw County had between 500 and 750 people apply for the hardship program.

The deadline for paying 2014 property taxes is March 31.

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