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    What if I can't pay the tax bill when it is due?
    Installment payments are permitted. Taxpayers may, at any time after the taxes are levied and prior to the beginning of March of next year, pay City and school taxes in installments of not less than one-sixth of the amount of the original tax plus penalties due on the portion so paid to the date of payment. No partial payment shall be less than ten dollars ($10.00).
    What are the penalties for late payment?
    Summer taxes: 1% per month on unpaid principal. Unpaid real property taxes & penalties are turned over to the Kent County Treasurer as of March 1 of the succeeding year. Contact the Kent County Treasurer at (616) 632-7500 for payment information on taxes turned over delinquent.
    Winter taxes: 4% collection fee is collected after the due date and before March 1. Unpaid real property taxes are turned over to the Kent County Treasurer as of March 1 following the due date. Contact the Kent County Treasurer at (616) 632-7500 for payment information on taxes turned over delinquent.
    If I can't pay my tax bill on time will it affect my credit rating?
    No, we do not report anything concerning your payment habits to the Credit Bureau.
    Taxpayers need to be aware of what prior year taxes are owed.  The City of Grand Rapids bills the current year’s real property taxes and has collection responsibilities through the beginning of March of each year.  As such, we only reflect real property tax payments for the first 8 months of each tax year.  The Kent County Treasurer’s Office has the responsibility for billing prior year(s) delinquent real property taxes and ultimately foreclosing on real property for unpaid taxes and taking title to people’s property. 
    The Kent County Treasurer’s Office is responsible for the official real property tax rolls for prior year delinquent real property taxes.  In instances when taxes are due for a prior tax year, we encourage taxpayers to make payments to the Kent County Treasurer first, as the delinquent taxes owed to the Kent County Treasurer’s Office represent the taxes posing the greatest risk to the property.  Generally, MI law (the General Property Tax Act) stipulates that the delinquent taxes sent by the City of Grand Rapids Treasurer’s Office to Kent County for collection are provided a 26 month period before the final Circuit Court foreclosure action occurs which deeds properties to Kent County due to unpaid tax balances.  The County Treasurer administers to sale of properties owing delinquent real property taxes. Their web site is  For more information, please contact Denise at the Kent County Treasurer’s Office (Ph. #632-7500).  Denise can explain the time period for the properties in question. 
    Poverty Exemptions:  The State law (Section 7u of the General Property Tax Act, MCL 211.7u), allows a property tax exemption for the homestead of persons who, in the judgment of the board of review, by reason of poverty, are unable to contribute toward their property tax bill. The City Commission Policy 700-07 provides guidelines for the program in the City of Grand Rapids. Taxpayers must fill out a Poverty Exemption Application and complete the corresponding Poverty Worksheet.  The Board of Review uses adopted poverty exemption income guidelines and an asset level test to approve the exemption annually.  The exemption must be applied for annually.  It is best to apply for the exemption in early February each year during the dates specified in the assessment notice for the appeal period for the 2012 real property assessments. However, the poverty exemption applications can be processed as part of the board of review sessions held in July and December.   The homestead poverty exemption is a partial or complete discharge, or “forgiveness,” from property taxes for households that meet the requirements listed on the attachment. The exemption especially helps poor people who might be at risk for losing their home because of property tax burdens.  Contact should be made with the City Assessor’s Office at 456-3081 to obtain more information on applying for the exemption.  For reference, detailed below are 2012 income guidelines.  Also, attached are worksheets that will be useful in the application process.    
    Information from a MI Dept. of Treasury Bulletin providing information on statutory changes or procedural changes for the 2012 assessment year that Assessor’s and Equalization Directors should be aware of.
    C. Federal Poverty Guidelines Used in the Determination of Poverty Exemptions for 2012.
    MCL 211.7u, which deals with poverty exemptions, was significantly altered by PA 390 of 1994 and was further amended by PA 620 of 2002. Please see STC Bulletin No. 5 of 1995 and page 3 of STC Bulletin No. 1 of 2003 for more detailed information.
    Local governing bodies are required to adopt guidelines that set income levels for their poverty exemption guidelines and those income levels shall not be set lower by a city or township than the federal poverty guidelines updated annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This means, for example, that the income level for a household of 3 persons shall not be set lower than $18,500 which is the amount shown on the following chart for a family of 3 persons. The income level for a family of 3 persons may be set higher than $18,500.
    Following are the federal poverty guidelines for use in setting poverty exemption guidelines for 2012 assessments. Size of Family Unit
    Poverty Guidelines
    $ 10,900
    $ 14,700
    $ 18,500
    $ 22,400
    $ 26,200
    $ 30,000
    $ 33,800
    $ 37,600
    For each additional person, add
    $ 3,800
    Information on Qualification For Property Tax Deferments - Income Level is at $40,000
    Real Property owners over 62 (or who meet other qualifications see the Application for Deferment of Summer Taxes) who meet certain income levels can defer the payment of their summer until next February 14th (or March, if the MI property tax credit refund check is not sent to them).  The deferment assists those who are experience a financial hardship in paying their taxes until the MI property tax credit refund check is sent to them.  
    Listed below is some other information that may be helpful in working through problems with your mortgage. 
    Trouble Paying your Mortgage? Free Help available
    Attention Homeowners:
    Having Trouble Paying Your Mortgage?
    1. OPEN ALL MAIL FROM YOUR LENDER.  You will receive a notice in the mail stating your RIGHT to work with your lender and a housing counselor.
    2. CALL A CERTIFIED, NON-PROFIT HOUSING COUNSELOR OR YOUR LOCAL LEGAL AID OFFICE AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THE NOTICE. You will have 14 days from the date the notice was mailed to contact a housing counselor or your local legal aid office:
    • In Kent County, homeowners should call:
    616-241-2601 ext. 0
    ALL homeowners will receive free help, regardless of income level.
    • Other agencies providing assistance in the state include:
    State of Michigan Save the Dream 866-946-7432
    HOPE Hotline 888-995-HOPE (4673)
    United Way 2-1-1
    MI Foreclosure Prevention Project
    3. Once you’ve contacted a housing counselor, YOU WILL HAVE 90 DAYS TO WORK WITH YOUR LENDER TO WORK OUT AN AGREEMENT ON YOUR LOAN.
    • ALWAYS contact a HUD or State of Michigan certified housing counselor for highly qualified, FREE help.
    • ALWAYS contact your local legal aid office for FREE legal aid.
    • NEVER pay a fee in exchange for help working with your lender.