Residents get extra two weeks to pay property taxes

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — For a number of years, the Benton Township Board of Trustees has approved a deadline extension for residents to pay their taxes.

This year will be no different.

Trustees approved a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting to extend the deadline from Feb. 16 to Feb. 29 for payment of 2015 winter property taxes and deferred summer taxes.

The two-week extension keeps residents from being penalized if they are unable to pay their taxes after the original deadline.

Trustees further approved all agreements with Benton Harbor Area Schools, Berrien RESA and Lake Michigan College to remain the tax collecting entity for their 2016 summer school taxes.

“The local schools are able to collect their own taxes, but over the years they’ve contracted with the township, in order for us to collect their taxes and ours at the same time,” Treasurer Debbie Boothby said. “It’s just a good partnership that we have. It’s easier for the schools and it’s easier for the public because they have one place to come in and pay.”

Boothby said the township will collect 31 cents per parcel from each organization to help cover the costs of collecting and processing the taxes.

The schools in Benton Township’s jurisdiction have been doing this for the last 15-20 years, Clerk Carolyn Phillips said.

“All they have to do is send the township a formal letter requesting us to collect on their behalf,” Boothby said of the agreement process. “The clerk draws up the resolution and once it is approved, it is good for another year.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 3, 2016)

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