Milford begins Tax Penalty Forgiveness Program

MILFORD – A tax penalty forgiveness program will be available to property tax payers with delinquent taxes, liens and fees through June 30, 2016, according to City Manager Eric Norenberg.

The Milford City Council authorized the one-time program last night during the regular council meeting to help collect unpaid property taxes and miscellaneous items such as grass cutting bills or code compliance penalties.

In exchange for making a full payment on delinquent payments by June 30, the city of Milford will forgive past penalties and interests currently owed.

As of mid-April, the city of Milford was owed more than $467,000 in unpaid property taxes and miscellaneous receivables (e.g. grass cutting bill or code compliance penalties) dating back to 1995, according to Mr. Norenberg.

Associated with those unpaid taxes and fees is nearly $125,000 in penalties and interest, he added.

City officials state the city plans to begin pursuing court action for those properties that have been in arrears for multiple years after July 1.

“By implementing the Property Tax Penalty Forgiveness Program, the city gives property owners an opportunity come current before the City pursues more drastic actions,” according to a press release from Mr. Norenberg.

The Tax Penalty Forgiveness Program consists of the following provisions:

  1. No refunds will be made for payments made prior to forgiveness program approval.
  2. Penalties will only be waived for those who bring their account current by paying taxes, liens and/or code violation fees in full or postmarked by June 30, 2016.
  3. This is a one-time opportunity that will likely not be offered again. Such a program has not been offered in recent memory and due to the sizable amount of back taxes, it is recommended that this be a one-time offer to help the citizens get current so that they do not find their property subject to legal action to collect the debts.
  4. Property owners with multiple properties in arrears can pay off an individual property in full, taking advantage of having the penalties waived, while still having other properties remain delinquent.
  5. No partial payments will be allowed. The program is designed to bring the entire account current and start fresh with the new tax year.
  6. Depending on the situation, the city may be able to work out a payment plan agreement after researching the history. If a plan is agreed upon and signed off on by both parties, the penalties and interest will be suspended for the duration of the payment plan. If the property owner completes the payment plan on schedule, the penalties and interest will be waived. Failure to make any payment by due dates will result in all remaining amounts owed immediately, including prior penalties and interest and any new penalties and interest. Such an agreement will need to be negotiated and agreed to prior to June 30, 2016. Anyone interested in negotiating such a program must apply by June 20, 2016.

The program is effective through June 30, 2016. The City of Milford hopes that this program will assist folks in remaining current with future billings. Delinquent bills will be sent by the end of the first week of May.

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