Bill sent to Whitmer allows for deferral of summer taxes

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — People and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic or major dam flooding could wait to pay their summer property taxes until 2021 without being penalized under legislation sent to Michigan’s governor.

A related bill would require the state to provide short-term financing to local governments facing revenue shortfalls due to the later payments.

The measures were among several approved in the Legislature Wednesday or Thursday, as lawmakers moved bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or took initial action on others before breaking until later in the summer.

It was not clear if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign them. The state Department of Treasury opposes the “unworkable” bonding proposal and said conversations will continue.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. James Lower of Greenville, said work will be done over the summer to “refine” the proposed deferment program so it “can function as efficiently as possible.”

The deadline to pay summer property taxes — typically Sept. 14, though it can vary by municipality — would be deferred to March 1. Interest would not start accruing until June 1. The Senate Fiscal Agency says people who defer their taxes would need to make a full year’s worth of payments plus their 2020 summer payments over a seven-month period in 2021.