Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree said that due to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits last year, more Wayne County residents were able to pay their taxes on time last year.
From October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, according to the treasurer’s office, compared to the previous four years, there were more payments.
“People have money and people have had a difference in their income because of additional federal stimulus checks or unemployment, ”Sabree said. “There is less crime coming to our office from municipalities and in previous years. “
Once a month, the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office hosts virtual meetings to answer residents’ questions and offer assistance. The department often includes members of utility companies to help resolve electricity and water bill issues.
Sabree says that at last month’s meeting, more than 250 people signed up. It gives officials the ability to hear from taxpayers and get real-time help from staff during the call.
Sabree says so many questions were raised regarding taxes, payment plans and foreclosures had to be answered within days of the meeting. He says it’s important for people to ask questions when they need them.
“This is always our biggest challenge. Because if sometimes we can’t reach people, we just call them, we send letters. And we do a lot of indoor advertising in the time period before the deadline. We still haven’t heard from people, ”he said.
Sabree says there are initiatives to help struggling taxpayers, including Pay as You Stay, which eliminates much of the past debt of qualifying very low-income residents. About 7,000 Detroit residents have also asked for help from the Gilbert Family Foundation, says Sabree, which reimburses residents’ balances. The state of Michigan is also launching a program called Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund which will be able to help other people who do not qualify for these low income exemptions.