Clerk/Treasurer Michelle LaVoy
Deputy Treasurer Sheri Hudson
The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for collecting all monies due the City, including; taxes (real and personal), City invoices, parking fines, Clerk’s receipts, water bills, building permits, engineering receipts, parks and recreation receipts, blight infractions, and rental housing inspections. Monies are banked daily. There is daily reconciliation of monies received and collections are posted daily into the City cash receipts system.
The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for printing and mailing tax bills (the city assessor is responsible for determining the value of the properties and the tax amount of the bills). Since the city has approximately 9,600 taxable parcels, this means that twice a year a tax bill is prepared and sent to the affected property owners or their mortgage companies. The Treasurer’s Office has hired an outside vendor to fold and stuff envelopes and mail approximately 6,000 of these tax bills to property owners that pay their own taxes. The remaining 3,500 are mailed to various mortgage companies, who have been given the responsibility of paying these tax bills. During the recent heavy refinance activity, this task has become even more difficult. Homeowners are refinancing at record rates and this requires continuous mortgage company update information.
The City has two tax seasons: Summer and Winter. The summer tax bill is posted to property owners around the second Monday in May each year (per City Charter). This summer tax bill generates the city operating revenue, trash collection revenue, Lake Erie Transit (LET) revenue and State Education Tax (SET). Taxes not paid on time during the summer tax season are assessed a 5% penalty and applied to the winter tax bill.
Winter tax bills are sent out the first week of December and are due by February 14. The winter tax bill generates revenues needed for the operation of County government, County libraries, and provided additional school taxes. At the end of the winter tax season settlement with Monroe County occurs and all amounts collected (or uncollected) must be accounted for along with their appropriate apportionment to the aforementioned multiple taxing authorities. The city has over a 96% collection rate; meaning there less than 4% of the property taxes go uncollected during any tax season. Taxes on real property turned over to Monroe County delinquent are reimbursed to the City by Monroe County and the County is responsible for the collection of these taxes. If unpaid for two-years, the County will foreclose on the property. Personal property taxes uncollected are the responsibility of the City Treasurer to collect and this office has in place a procedure for collection.
Parking Ticket Program
Recently the parking ticket collection program was transferred to the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office. Along with the program, a full-time employee was also transferred from the Police Department.
Parking tickets are issued using handheld computers. Each work day the data inside these handhelds is downloaded into our computer system. These tickets can then be processed as they are paid by the offenders. Tickets three-days old have their value doubled and tickets thirty-days old are turned over to a local credit bureau for collection.
Other Functions Performed by the Treasurer’s Office
· Prepare special assessments and send taxpayer letters, notices and bills, collect the payments and report to Council for these collections. Also report on parking meter collections, parking violations and other tax collections.
· Provide tax information to residents, banks, realtors, mortgage and title companies.
· Provide detailed report to State tax commission for Industrial Facility Taxes (IFTs) and Commercial Facility Taxes (CFTs). Report to State of Michigan on special assessments for reimbursement of funds.
· Make Board of Review and Michigan Tax Tribunal changes and notify taxpayers.