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Frequently Asked Questions

Summer Property Tax Schedule and Payment Information

> What is the schedule?
> What if I make payment after September 14th?
> What if I live in a city which, by charter, requires summer property taxes to be paid before or after September 14th?
> How can I confirm the payment was received?
> What if I did not receive a tax bill - am I still liable for the tax?
> Will the county or local collecting unit impose an administration fee for collecting the tax on behalf of a local unit of government?

What is the schedule?
Early July : Bill notice sent and summer property taxes become a lien until paid.

By September 14: If taxpayer is eligible, Tax Deferment Request Form must be received by local city or township treasurer.

Not later than September 14 (may be earlier or later depending on township or city charter): Payment must be received.

After September 14 (may be later or earlier depending on the city charter): 1% interest per month will accrue if the payment is late. The taxpayer must include the following late penalty interest fees for late payments.

Payment Received Date

Amount of Tax Due: Please note that you will need to check with your local taxing unit as some of the interest penalty charges may vary

September 15-30

102% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 1% interest penalty)

October 1-31

103% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 2% interest penalty)

November 1-30

104% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 3% interest penalty)

December 1-31

105% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 4% interest penalty)

January 1-31

106% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 5% interest penalty

February 1-28

107% of Base Tax
(Base Tax, plus 1% administrative fee, plus 6% interest penalty)
Please note: there may be additional interest penalty charged by the local taxing unit for taxes paid after February 14.

February 28: Payment must be received by this date or the property tax will be considered delinquent and turned over to the county treasurer on March 1. Additional interest penalty will apply after March 1.

What if I make payment after September 14th?
You will owe interest on the unpaid tax at a rate of 1% per month, unless you live in a city where the charter provides for a different collection date. In addition, if the tax remains unpaid on March 1, it will be returned to your county treasurer as delinquent for collection at the same time and in the same manner as other delinquent property taxes.

What if I live in a city which, by charter, requires summer property taxes to be paid before or after September 14th?
In that case, the due date established by charter prevails. Contact your local treasurer or the collecting treasurer for that information.

How can I confirm the payment was received?
If paying by check, please check with your bank first to confirm that the check has been cashed. If you escrow your taxes, please check with your mortgage or escrow company. As the taxpayer, you're liable for the tax payment.

What if I did not receive a tax bill - am I still liable for the tax?
Yes.  While the collecting treasurer is to send tax bills out to all known taxpayers, if the tax bill is returned due to a bad address or name, as the property owner you are still liable for the tax.  Not receiving a tax bill, does not alleviate the tax burden.  If you have not received a tax bill or have received late bills, you should check with your local treasurer or assessor to confirm that they have the correct owner name and address for billing purposes.

Will the county or local collecting unit impose an administration fee for collecting the tax on behalf of a local unit of government?
The General Property Tax Law provides that a local property tax collecting unit may add a property tax administration fee of not more than 1% of the total tax bill per parcel.


General State Education Tax Information

> How is the SET Calculated?
> What does the SET fund?

How is the SET Calculated? 
Property owners are assessed 6 mills on the taxable value. For example, if you have a taxable value of $50,000, the amount of SET due is $300.00 ($50,000 multiplied by .006).

What does the SET fund? 
The SET is deposited to the School Aid Fund for distribution to Michigan public K-12 schools. This tax makes up about 15% of the total School Aid Fund. This tax is separate from any local school bond, community college, or voted mill issue.


Information for Local Treasurers

> Who can keep the $2.50 per billable parcel and what can it be used for?
> Who can keep the interest that is earned on State Education Tax payments while those funds are in the possession of the city, township, or county treasurer?
> Who can keep the monthly interest and late penalty that is imposed before March 1 on late State Education Tax (SET) payments?
> SET certification of 6 mill tax levy
> State Treasurer's Certification Letter of the SET Levy
> If a school district or intermediate school district adopts a resolution to issue a summer property tax levy - who has to collect the State Education Taxes and County Allocated Mills?
> If a school district has elected to issue a summer tax levy, and cannot reach agreement with a township or city to act as the tax collector, can the school district enter into an agreement with the county to only collect the school district summer tax levy?
> If a school district or Intermediate School District elects to impose a summer levy, what is the deadline by which a school district has to determine who will be the summer tax collector?
> If a school district reaches agreement with the city, township, or county to collect a school district summer levy, and the tax collector currently retains a $2.50 per billable parcel for the State Education Tax collection, will the agreement jeopardize the $2.50 State Education Tax retaining fee?
> What if a local unit is collecting a summer tax levy for a school district and it impacts only a portion of the taxing unit - because the school district does not encompass the whole local unit? How is the $2.50 retaining fee applied?
> Can there be more than one tax roll for a local unit?
> What if the school district or Intermediate School District elects to eliminate the summer tax levy ? will the tax collector then be able to retain the $2.50 per billable parcel fee after the summer school district tax levy is eliminated?
> When does district library debt millage have to be collected?
> Can a township keep earned interest on county allocated mills tax payments prior to the time of remittance to the county treasurer?
> When must a local unit mail property tax bills?
> As part of a summer or winter tax bill, is the property tax administration fee applied to special assessments?
> What must be included in a tax statement notice?
> Does the local unit treasurer have the authority to impose a property tax administration fee?
> Does the Property Tax Administration fee apply in total against the property taxes billed?
> Could a local unit only impose the Property Tax Administration Fee on the summer property tax bill and not the winter tax bill?
> Can a local unit waive the Property Tax Administration Fee?
> When calculating interest for late summer taxes, should the Property Tax Administration Fee be included in the tax base?
> Is the Property Tax Administration Fee to be included in the base tax for delinquent taxes turned over to the county?

Who can keep the $2.50 per billable parcel and what can it be used for?
If a county, city, or township collects the State Education Tax (SET) this summer, and is not collecting any other summer property taxes for the taxing unit, except the county allocated mills and/or village taxes, the law (MCL 211.905b) provides that the county, city, or township shall retain $2.50 for each parcel of property that is billed the SET before transmitting the SET collected. 

The law is clear that the SET collecting unit shall also collect the county allocated mills as required by MCL 211.44a. As long as a taxing unit is only collecting the SET, county allocated mills, and/or village taxes, the unit is eligible to retain the $2.50 per billable parcel.    

The amount may only be used to defray any costs the treasurer's office incurs resulting from the early collection of the SET. Eligible costs include those costs associated with the early collections of the SET such as additional hours worked by local treasurers or related staff, supplies or materials related to the printing and mailing of the tax bills, and the processing of payments received.

Bonus compensation for summer tax collections should not occur unless it is part of the initial salary resolution or authorized within statutory procedures for an increase in salary. Article XI, Section 3 of the Michigan Constitution states, "Neither the legislature nor any political subdivision of this state shall grant or authorize extra compensation to any public officer, agent or contractor after the service has been rendered or the contract entered into."

Who can keep the interest that is earned on State Education Tax payments while those funds are in the possession of the city, township, or county treasurer?
The law allows local and county treasurers to keep the earned interest on State Education Tax (SET) payments prior to the time of remittance.

  • Background: The general rule is that interest follows principal, unless there is statutory language to the contrary. In 1985, the Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids Public Schools v City of Grand Rapids (146 MICH APP 652) held that "Interest on public funds designated for a specific purpose follows those funds, absent a clear statutory provision to the contrary, in general, interest is merely an incident of the principal fund, making it the property of the party owning the principal." 

  • County treasurers have the authority to keep earned interest on the SET. MCL 211.43(10), which was added by Public Act 253 of 1994, provides that "The county treasurer may retain the interest earned on the money collected under Act No. 331 of the Public Acts of 1993 while held by the county treasurer, as reimbursement for the cost incurred by the county in collecting and transmitting the tax imposed by that act." 

  • Township and city treasurers have authority to keep earned interest on the SET. MCL 211.43c provides that "Notwithstanding section 43, if there is not an agreement for alternative schedules for delivering interest earned, the local tax collecting unit shall retain interest earned on the collections of the state education tax levied under the state education tax act, Act No. 331 of the Public Acts of 1993, being sections 211.901 to 211.906 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, while in the possession of the local tax collecting unit."  

Who can keep the monthly interest and late penalty that is imposed before March 1 on late State Education Tax (SET) payments?  
If a county, city, or township collects the State Education Tax (SET) this summer, county allocated mills and/or village taxes, and is not collecting any other summer property taxes, the monthly interest and late penalty imposed before March 1 on late SET payments must be transferred to the State Treasurer. (MCL 211.905b(10))

If a school district or intermediate school district adopts a resolution to issue a summer property tax levy - who has to collect the State Education Taxes and County Allocated Mills? 
Beginning in 2003, any school or intermediate school district that elects to levy a summer tax, is obligated under the General Property Tax Act to also collect the State Education Tax (SET) and the county allocated mills. The School may enter into a contractual agreement as allowed by law (MCL 380.1613) for another local unit to act as the summer tax collector; however the tax collector is obligated to collect not just the school summer tax levy, but also the SET and the county allocated mills. 

The State Education Tax Act specifically provides that (MCL 211.905(4)) "Beginning in 2003, if a school district or intermediate school district collects taxes in the summer under section 1613 of the revised school code of 1976, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1613, the school district or intermediate school district shall collect the taxes levied under this act in the summer and shall distribute the taxes collected as provided in this act."

As provided by MCL 211.44a(1) - the treasurer that collects the state education tax shall collect the summer property tax levy under this section - being the county allocated mills.

If a school district has elected to issue a summer tax levy, and cannot reach agreement with a township or city to act as the tax collector, can the school district enter into an agreement with the county to only collect the school district summer tax levy?
No. A school district that has a summer tax levy is obligated also to collect the State Education Tax and county allocated mills. A taxpayer should receive only one summer property tax bill. While the school district may enter into a contractual agreement as allowed by law (MCL 380.1613) for another local unit to act as the summer tax collector; the tax collector is obligated to collect not just the school district summer tax levy, but also the State Education Tax and the county allocated mills.

The State Education Tax Act specifically provides that (MCL 211.905(4)) "(b)eginning in 2003, if a school district or intermediate school district collects taxes in the summer under section 1613 of the revised school district code of 1976, (1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1613), the school district or intermediate school district shall collect the taxes levied under this act in the summer and shall distribute the taxes collected as provided in this act."

As provided by MCL 211.44a(1) - the treasurer that collects the State Education Tax is required to collect the county allocated mills.

If a school district or Intermediate School District elects to impose a summer levy, what is the deadline by which a school district has to determine who will be the summer tax collector?
The deadline is April 1. As provided by the Revised School district Code (MCL 380.1613), the school district would need to reach agreement with the local tax collecting unit. If an agreement cannot be reached with the local tax collecting unit, then an agreement could be reached with the county to act as tax collector. If an agreement cannot be reached with either the local unit or the county, then the school district could elect to collect its summer tax levy, the State Education Tax (MCL 211.905), and the county allocated mills (MCL 211.44a).

If a school district reaches agreement with the city, township, or county to collect a school district summer levy, and the tax collector currently retains a $2.50 per billable parcel for the State Education Tax collection, will the agreement jeopardize the $2.50 State Education Tax retaining fee?
Yes. A township, city, or county that is eligible for the $2.50 retaining fee under the State Education Tax Act (specifically, MCL 211.905b) may only retain the $2.50 for those billable parcels for which the only taxes billed are the State Education Tax, county allocated, and/or village taxes. Therefore, for those parcels that are also billed for a school district summer tax levy, the $2.50 per billable parcel retaining fee is no longer allowed.

What if a local unit is collecting a summer tax levy for a school district and it impacts only a portion of the taxing unit - because the school district does not encompass the whole local unit? How is the $2.50 retaining fee applied?
The State Education Tax Act provides that the township, city, or county may retain the $2.50 per billable parcel when only the State Education Tax, county allocated, and/or village taxes are billed.

MCL 211.905b specifically provides that "(t)his section applies only to a city or township, or that portion of a city or township, in which no property taxes, other than" the State Education Tax, county allocated, and/or village taxes are levied.

As more than one school district may be located in a tax collecting unit, and a school district may not encompass the whole taxing unit, for those parcels where school district taxes are being levied in the summer, the $2.50 retaining fee may not be applied, but the $2.50 retaining fee may be applied to the other parcels in the taxing unit where only the State Education Tax, county allocated, and/or village taxes are billed.

Can there be more than one tax roll for a local unit?
It is possible to have more than one tax roll per local unit. For example, if there were three school districts within the boundary of a township:

  • School District A does not elect to levy a summer school tax.

  • School District B wants a summer tax levy and is able to reach agreement with the township to collect the school district summer tax levy.

  • School District C does not reach agreement with the township, but does reach agreement with the county.

This would result in two tax rolls and two tax collectors for the property owners within the boundary of one township:

  • Township: Collects for residents in School District A - only the State Education Tax, the county allocated, and/or village taxes. Collects for residents in School District B - the school district summer tax levy, State Education Tax, the county allocated, and/or village taxes.

  • County: Collects for residents in School District C - the school district summer tax levy, State Education Tax, the county allocated, and/or village taxes.

What if the school district or Intermediate School District elects to eliminate the summer tax levy - will the tax collector then be able to retain the $2.50 per billable parcel fee after the summer school district tax levy is eliminated?
Yes - as long as there are no other summer taxes being collected, only State Education Tax, county allocated, and/or village taxes.

When does district library debt millage have to be collected?
The District Library Financing Act, Act 265 of 1988, specifically MCL 397.288, provides that the taxes shall be levied and collected with the county taxes. When this section was enacted, county taxes were collected exclusively in the winter. MCL 211.44a established a shift to a summer tax collection for county allocated mills beginning with the 2005 summer tax collection. Most counties still have other mills being levied as part of the winter taxes. For those counties with a winter tax, the district library debt mills may still be collected as part of the winter property taxes.

If a district library has voter approval to issue new debt mills, or elects to shift the debt mills to a summer tax collection, this could impact potential revenue for the tax collector. A township, city, or county may be eligible to retain a $2.50 per billable parcel fee related to summer tax collection if collecting only the State Education Tax, county allocated mills, and/or village taxes.

Can a township keep earned interest on county allocated mills tax payments prior to the time of remittance to the county treasurer?
No. The General Property Tax Act does not give express authority to keep the interest earned while the township treasurer is holding county allocated mills prior to the time of remittance to the county treasurer for the county allocated mills. The township treasurer is required to remit payments within 10 business days after the first and fifteenth day of each month.

  • Background: The general rule is that interest follows principal, unless there is statutory language to the contrary. In 1985, the Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids Public School districts v City of Grand Rapids (146 MICH APP 652) held that "Interest on public funds designated for a specific purpose follows those funds, absent a clear statutory provision to the contrary, in general, interest is merely an incident of the principal fund, making it the property of the party owning the principal."

When must a local unit mail property tax bills?
There is not a specific requirement in the General Property Tax Act by a date certain on when the tax bill must be mailed.

For most taxpayers - winter taxes become a lien on December 1 and due on February 14, summer taxes become a lien on July 1 each year and due by September 14 - unless you live in a city with a different date identified in the city charter.

The General Property Tax Act does provide that if statements are not mailed by December 31, then the local unit may not impose the 3% late penalty charge (MCL 211.44(3)).

Taxes not paid by the last day in February, or if the last day of February falls on a weekend or holiday - the next business day, and turned over delinquent to the county treasurer would include a 4% county property tax administration fee.

As part of a summer or winter tax bill, is the property tax administration fee applied to special assessments?

No. The law allows for a property tax administration fee of not more than 1% of the total tax bill per parcel to apply to property taxes. The application of the property tax administration fee is specific to summer and/or winter property taxes and does not apply to current special assessment installments. (MCL 211.44(3)).

Michigan case law has long drawn a distinction between ad valorem taxes and traditional special assessments. See, for example, Graham v City of Saginaw, (317 Mich 427; 1947). Further, In Kadzban v City of Grandville, 442 Mich 495; 502 NW2d 299 (1993), the Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that:

  • A special assessment is a levy upon property within a specified district. Although it resembles a tax, a special assessment is not a tax.
  • In contrast to a tax, a special assessment is imposed to defray the costs of specific local improvements, rather than to raise revenue for general governmental purposes.

Most special assessment laws require that the special assessment installment be due, collected, and returned for nonpayment in the same manner and at the same time as the ad valorem property tax levies of the municipality imposing the special assessment. However, these special assessment laws do not provide general legal authority for a local unit to impose the property tax administration fee to a special assessment installment.

What must be included in a tax statement notice?

A tax statement must show the description of the property against which the tax is levied, the taxable value of the property, and the amount of the tax on the property (MCL 211.44(1)). Further, the Act requires that a tax statement sent to a taxpayer, or the taxpayer's designated agent, must include both property taxes and special assessments. (MCL 211.44(10)(d)) for the current tax year.

Property tax statements and receipts must include the fiscal year of the taxes being collected. (MCL 211.40):

  • "Each tax statement and receipt for taxes on real property sent or given by any county, township, city, or village treasurer shall contain a printed, stamped, or written statement setting forth the date of the commencement and ending of the fiscal year of each taxing unit of government during which general taxes included on the tax statement or receipt will defray the costs of governmental services rendered by that local governmental unit."

A property tax bill must contain a notice change of wetland inventory. (MCL 324.30322):

  • "As wetland inventories are completed as specified in section 30321, owners of record as identified by the current property tax roll shall be notified of the possible change in the status of their property. Notification shall be printed on the next property tax bill mailed to property owners in the county. It shall contain information specifying that a wetland inventory has been completed and is on file with the agricultural extension office, register of deeds, and county clerk, and that property owners may be subject to regulation under this part."

A winter tax bill must include information on summer taxes that were deferred. MCL 211.51(6):

  • "If a local property tax collecting unit that collects a summer property tax also collects a winter property tax in the same year, a statement of the amount of taxes deferred pursuant to subsection (2) shall be in the December tax statement mailed by the local property tax collecting unit for each summer property tax payment that was deferred from collection. If a local property tax collecting unit that collects a summer property tax does not collect a winter property tax in the same year, it shall mail a statement of the amount of taxes deferred under subsection (2) at the same time December tax statements are required to be mailed under section 44."

Does the local unit treasurer have the authority to impose a property tax administration fee?

Yes. But, only if authorized by resolution or ordinance of the governing body (i.e. township board or city council) of the local unit. If the local collecting unit does not also assess the property within the boundaries of the local unit, then the local unit must impose a property tax administration fee at a rate equal to the rate of the fee imposed for city or township taxes on that parcel unless there is an agreement to the contrary with the assessing unit. MCL 211.44(7):

  • "The local property tax collecting treasurer shall not impose a property tax administration fee, collection fee, or any type of late penalty charge authorized by law or charter unless the governing body of the local property tax collecting unit approves, by resolution or ordinance adopted after December 31, 1982, an authorization for the imposition of a property tax administration fee, collection fee, or any type of late penalty charge provided for by this section or by charter, which authorization shall be valid for all levies that become a lien after the resolution or ordinance is adopted. However, unless otherwise provided for by an agreement between the assessing unit and the collecting unit, a local property tax collecting unit that does not also serve as the assessing unit shall impose a property tax administration fee on each parcel at a rate equal to the rate of the fee imposed for city or township taxes on that parcel."

Does the Property Tax Administration fee apply in total against the property taxes billed?

Yes, in most cases. The law is clear that the property tax administration fee must apply against the total tax bill (MCL 211.44(3)) unless a city or village charter provides separate application of the property tax administration fee. A city or village charter would take precedence on the fees charged on property tax bills. MCL 211.107(1):

  • "The requirements of this act relating to the amount and imposition of interest, penalties, collection or administration fees, the procedures for collection of taxes, and the enforcement of tax liens are applicable to all cities and villages if not inconsistent with their respective charters or an ordinance enacted pursuant to their respective charters."

Could a local unit only impose the Property Tax Administration Fee on the summer property tax bill and not the winter tax bill?

Yes. The State Education Tax Act provides that the local unit may elect to only apply the property tax administration fee to a summer tax bill even if the fee is not imposed on taxes billed in December (MCL 211.905b(11)). A local unit may also elect to only impose the property tax administration fee against the December tax levy. However, the property tax administration fee cannot be imposed twice against the same tax.

Can a local unit waive the Property Tax Administration Fee?

Yes, if the local unit provides both assessing and tax collection. The local unit governing board (i.e. township board or city council) may waive all or part of the fee for all billable parcels. (MCL 211.44(4)). The local unit may not waive the fee for just some taxpayers or on a case by case basis.

When calculating interest for late summer taxes, should the Property Tax Administration Fee be included in the tax base?

No. As provided by the General Property Tax Act, late interest is to be applied against the tax.. (MCL 211.905b(10), MCL 211.905b(11), and MCL 211.44a(5)). A city or village charter would take precedence on how interest applies to late property tax bills. MCL 211.107(1):

  • "The requirements of this act relating to the amount and imposition of interest, penalties, collection or administration fees, the procedures for collection of taxes, and the enforcement of tax liens are applicable to all cities and villages if not inconsistent with their respective charters or an ordinance enacted pursuant to their respective charters."

Is the Property Tax Administration Fee to be included in the base tax for delinquent taxes turned over to the county?

Yes. The law (MCL 211.44) provides that interest imposed upon delinquent property taxes under this act shall also be imposed upon the property tax administration fee. However, this only applies after the taxes are returned delinquent on March 1 to the county treasurer.

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