Delinquent Property Taxes



Public Act 123 of 1999, signed by the Governor, changes the way delinquent property taxes are collected. The County Treasurer may be required to sell your home or farm for non-payment of taxes after only two years. The new law says, “The legislature finds that there exists in this state a continuing need to strengthen and revitalize the economy of this state and its municipalities by encouraging the efficient and expeditious return to productive use of property returned for delinquent taxes.”

Every July and/or December the Township Treasurer sends out tax bills. If either of these bills go unpaid, on March 1 of the next year, the Township Treasurer turns them over to the County Treasurer as delinquent. In the past, homeowners had three years during which their taxes were delinquent before the taxes were sold and a lien was placed on the home. (State law requires interest charges of 1 percent per month or partial month and a one-time 4 percent administrative fee.)

ALL OF THIS HAS CHANGED. Now when unpaid taxes are turned over to the County Treasurer in March, the County Treasurer will send several delinquent tax notices over the course of the year, beginning in June. If these taxes remain unpaid for one year, on March 1 of the following year, your home or farm will be forfeited to the County. In addition, a fee of $175 is added to the back taxes and the interest rate increases from 1 percent per month to 1.5 percent per month computed retroactively to March 1. If taxes remain unpaid for another year, your home or farm is foreclosed and sold during a series of three auctions beginning in July of each year.

There are agencies in Washtenaw County that can help if you are not able to pay your taxes. Each agency has certain eligibility requirements, but they can provide concrete information and valuable advice even if you are not eligible for financial assistance. Contact:

Housing Bureau for Seniors: (734) 998-9339
Legal Services of Southeastern Michigan: (734) 665-6181
Catholic Social Services - Council on Aging: (734) 712-3625
Veteran Services (veterans and their families only): (734) 971-2195
Washtenaw Community Services Tax Foreclosure: (734) 484-6610, ext. 4144 or 4136
Family Independence Agency (FIA): (734) 481-2000, ask for adult services