County Treasurer Partners with State, Merrill Township
At the regular monthly meeting of the Merrill Township Board last night, Holly Moon, Newaygo County Treasurer, presented the Township Board with a deed to three parcels of property she received from the State of Michigan’s Land Bank.
This represents another step forward in cooperation and collaboration among our governmental units; the Township, the County Treasurer, and the State of Michigan,” she stated.
Several years ago Treasurer Moon expressed concerns to Representative Jon Bumstead regarding...
...the continual problem of small, non-conforming lots tax-reverting year after year. Property owners stopped paying their taxes and forfeited their property; largely due to their non-buildable size or lack of accessibility. County Treasurers throughout Michigan needed to find a way to convert these small, non-conforming lots into larger, more marketable parcels that could come back on the tax rolls.
Merrill Township’s Woodland Park presented the greatest challenge in Newaygo County with a number of tax foreclosures each year coming from this area.Woodland Park contains thousands of 25’ x 100’ lots created in the 1930’s before land use planning and zoning were implemented.
After Treasurer Moon shared her ideas with Representative Bumstead and key players at the DNR, the MI Assn of County Treasurers worked with Representative Bumstead to sponsor House Bill 5398 to allow a foreclosing governmental unit, such as the County Treasurer, to acquire property owned by the State of Michigan, the federal government, or any other governmental entity through a jurisdictional transfer. The goal was to put together parcels the DNR owned in Merrill Township, for example, with those adjacent to them that were owned by the County Treasurer or the Township, and assist the State in the return of this public land to private ownership.
After three years of revisions and testimony, HB 5398 (PA 502) became law and a new partnership was forged between County Treasurers and the State of Michigan. On April 15, 2016 Treasurer Moon received her first deed transferring six parcels of property to the Newaygo County Treasurer. After completing the summer auction season, three of the unsold parcels could be transferred to Merrill Township and combined with their adjacent parcels to create a larger block of property.
Treasurer Moon and the Merrill Township Board are very proud of this effort to conserve revenues for the County and the Township, assist in stopping these small parcels from repeatedly circulating through the tax foreclosure process, and begin taking steps to help bring economic revitalization to the Woodland Park area in Merrill Township.