Tax Relief

Brinks urges property tax relief for firms affected by COVID-19

GRAND RAPIDS, me. (WOOD) – In addition to Governor Whitmer’s plan to continue helping businesses hit by the pandemic, there is bipartisan support in Michigan lawmakers for some property tax relief.

Earlier this week, Senator Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) introduced SB 112. Her counterpart in the House of Representatives, Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), introduced identical laws to HB 4185.

The bill would instruct the Michigan Treasury Department to create a reimbursement plan through the local government for eligible property and business owners who were unable to pay their summer 2020 property taxes due to the difficulties caused by COVID-19.

“So if there’s a company that hasn’t paid for it yet, they can pay it by a certain date in the next few months, and then they don’t have to pay those late fees or interest penalties,” Brinks told News 8 on Friday. “It would just be very helpful to their cash flow and give cities the peace of mind of knowing what their cash situation is like in relation to any income they may or may not have received.”

Once the summer property taxes are paid, the local tax unit will verify an applicant’s eligibility and then be reimbursed by the state.

Companies that are eligible for waiver include bars, restaurants, theaters, sports stadiums, fitness facilities, and recreational facilities.

“I have been reached by so many companies saying, ‘We like to pay our taxes, but we have no income right now because of the closure,'” added Brinks. “It would be really helpful if we could reduce these penalties in terms of time frame.”

The bill is co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. Brinks is confident that it will either get a hearing or go straight to the vote as it is already supported by both parties.

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