Fed workers in Wayne County to get help with delinquent taxes

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Eric Sabree

Detroit — Federal workers who live in Wayne County and are affected by the government shutdown are getting a little more time to pay their delinquent property taxes, Wayne County's treasurer said Wednesday.

“Given that the federal government shutdown is having an economic impact on workers located in our area, we thought it to be only fair and prudent to offer options to extend their payments,” Eric Sabree said in a Wednesday statement.

The Treasurer's Office is giving federal workers affected by the shutdown until December 2019 to make payments on delinquent Wayne County property taxes, Sabree said. Furloughed workers have complained that they are at risk of missing mortgage and other payments when they are set Friday to miss their first federal paycheck. 

Since the Dec. 22 partial federal government shutdown, the Wayne County Treasurer's office has received calls from federal workers who say they may not be able to make their scheduled payments on delinquent taxes, he said.

“We work with people to assist them based on their individual circumstance,” Sabree said. “There are a lot of people who are not getting paid, and they have absolutely no control over that until the shutdown issue is resolved.”

It's not known how many federal employees who own property in Wayne County are being affected, Sabree said. However, Michigan has about 52,000 federal workers.

The extension is only relevant for those facing foreclosure this year, Sabree said. 

"In other words, someone who received a notice for delinquent taxes prior to and from 2016," the county treasurer said. "Those are the individuals who would benefit from the extension. We know many people depend on their federal tax refund to pay their county property taxes."

That also means anyone who is waiting for a federal check that's delayed due to the shutdown may qualify.

"Say for instance, you've filed your income tax and you have a document showing that you're going to receive a refund, we'll honor that and give you an extension as well," he said.

To qualify for the extension, residents must be able to show they are an owner-occupant of a Wayne County property, speak to a staff member of the Treasurer's Office and provide proper documentation they are expecting federal benefits delayed by the government shutdown.

Sabree added, any homeowner who is in danger of not being able to keep up with their payment plan or needs help should call the Treasurer's Office at (313) 224-5990 to seek an extension. They can also email the office at taxinfo@waynecounty.com or visit it at 400 Monroe Street in Detroit's Greektown district. 


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez