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Midland, MI 48640-5194

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Midland County > Treasurer > Property Tax Questions Text Size A | A | A | A

Frequently Asked Questions About Unpaid Real Property Taxes

Q. If I don’t pay my taxes, will I really lose my ownership interest in the property?

A. Yes. P.A. 123 of 1999 as amended, changed the property tax revision process. Tax years remaining unpaid for two years will be foreclosed and the property will be sold to the highest bidder. 

Q. I want to be notified on a parcel(s) of property if the taxes are returned to the County Treasurer as delinquent. How do I get notice?

A. You can fill out an Address Notice Form (available on this site) and pay $5.00 per parcel code that you want notice. You must do this each tax year that you want notice. Please read the form for instructions.

Q. I have delinquent taxes and I have moved or changed my mortgage company that pays my taxes through an escrow account. Who do I have to notify?

A. You will need to notify the assessor and treasurer where the property is located. You will need to notify the county treasurer if there are delinquent taxes due on the parcel. Whether or not you have an escrow account to pay your property taxes, you should always make sure that the taxes are paid. Check your monthly mortgage statement for expenditures from your escrow account.

Q. I did not get a tax bill now my taxes are delinquent and am I assessed delinquent fees? Can I have the fees waived?

A. No. Failure to receive a tax bill will not waive delinquent fees. That is the law. If you do not get a tax bill, contact your city, township or village treasurer where the property is located. Even if your taxes are paid by a mortgage escrow account, you should receive a copy of the tax bill.

Q. Does the Midland County Treasurer accept US mail postmarks as payment received date?

A. No. The payment is stamped received the day the payment is received into the office.

Q. I cannot pay the total amount due on my delinquent taxes. What can I do?

A. Partial payments of $10.00 or more are accepted. We also accept major credit cards.

Q. I cannot come to the office during regular business hours and do not want to mail the payment. Is there another method to make my payment?

A. The county treasurer has a night payment drop box located on the Ellsworth side of the Midland County Services Building. Please do not put cash into the night drop box.

Q. What happens if I give a check for payment of my land taxes and the check is returned non-sufficient funds?

A. You will be charged a minimum of $25.00 and your name will be placed on the County's bad check list. If the check is not made good in 5 days, the check will be forwarded to the Midland County Sheriff and to the Midland County Prosecutor for possible further legal action. You will also have your privilege of giving personal checks for payment of county services extinguished.

Q. Property under my ownership has been forfeited. I do not have sufficient financial resources to pay the amount due. Is there anything I can do to keep my property from being foreclosed?

A Yes. You can contact the Midland County Family Independent Agency and our local churches and help agencies to see if they will help with funds to pay the taxes. You can also request a County Hardship (application available on this site). The County Treasurer will work with all property owners to help get their taxes paid and avoid final foreclosure. If you have questions or need help ask. If you fail to ask questions in order to make informed decisions and your property is foreclosed you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Q. I have delinquent taxes. What is the process if the taxes remain unpaid?

A. On March 1, the first day of delinquency, the County Treasurer adds to the base tax 4% administration fee and 1% interest. Beginning in April, and each and every month thereafter the County Treasurer will add an additional 1% interest. In October a $15.00 certified mailing fee will be assessed. If the taxes remain unpaid on the succeeding March 1, the County Treasurer will forfeit the parcel and add $175, recording fees, and an additional .05% interest for each prior 12 months. Costs will continue to accrue during the next 12 months. If the total of the taxes, interest and fees are not paid within 21 days after the judgment of foreclosure is entered on the property the parcel will be foreclosed and offered for public auction sale. If you are an occupant of foreclosed property you will immediately be ordered to vacate the property or face forced eviction.

Q. Will my neighbors know that my property has been forfeited and subject to foreclosure?

A. Yes, if they ask or request to view your property information. Information concerning property assessment and taxes is public information.

Q. How do I purchase foreclosed property?

A. Read the PA 123 Foreclosed Property Auction Procedures accessible on the Treasurer’s home page. It will explain the procedures, how to bid and when the sales will be held.

Q. My property has been forfeited for non-payment of delinquent property taxes. Does that mean I lost my property?

A. Not yet. Again, if you do not pay the total of taxes, interest and fees due within 21 days after a foreclosure judgment is entered on the property you will lose your ownership interest in the parcel. If the parcel is foreclosed it will be sold at public auction. You will not receive any of the proceeds of that auction.

Q. I purchased a new home last year and the taxes are nearly double this year. What happened?

A. Your property was uncapped according to the requirements of Proposal A. In 1994, under Proposal A, all property taxable value was capped. This means that the taxable (capped) value can only increase by the percent of the Consumers Price Index to a maximum of 5% each year. When the property ownership is transferred the taxable value is “uncapped” and the assessor will place a new taxable value on the parcel. After that transfer of ownership, the property is once again “capped” until the next transfer of ownership. It is wise when looking to purchase property that the potential buyer view the State Equalized Value on the parcel. This will reduce “tax bill sticker shock” on the next tax year bill after the purchase. The S.E.V. will give the buyer a ballpark estimate of the figure that the taxes will be based on the year following the sale.

Q. What is the most important lesson I need to know after I purchase real estate?

A. Take the time to know when tax bills are due and to whom they are payable. Do not assume that the seller will pay the taxes in the year of sale. The buyer normally pays these taxes.

Do not send a check in the mail and assume that the check reached the treasurer. Do not sit back if you do not get a summer and/or winter tax bill. Call the city, township or village treasurer where the property is located and request to be sent a new bill. At the same time, check to make sure the treasurer has your correct mailing address. If you believe your taxes are assessed incorrectly, call the assessor and ask for an explanation. If not satisfied, go to the March Board of Review and appeal the assessment. If you are claiming a principal homestead exemption make sure it is correct. If you are not sure if your property qualifies for a homestead exemption or qualified agriculture exemption, ask your assessor.

Remember, this is your property and your asset. Do not risk losing it for nonpayment of property taxes. If in doubt, ask questions.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014