Flint City Council To Stop Issuing Tax Liens To Residents For Unpaid Water Bills

Photo by Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Pres

The Flint City Council has agreed to stop issuing tax liens on homes with unpaid water bills, following outrage from residents about the city’s handling of its water crisis.

On Wednesday the council voted on and passed a resolution that puts a year-long suspension on the city’s policy of imposing tax liens on homes throughout the city that have outstanding water bills. The decision was the result of residents angrily calling the office of Council President Kerry Nelson and leaving messages about how the bills were not only high but how they refused to pay them because of the city’s undrinkable water. The ACLU of Michigan and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund also spoke out against the tax liens, sending letters to not only city council members but Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

“Too numerous to tell you how many, the calls have been coming in,” Nelson reportedly said. “Enough is enough. I have made up my mind tonight to do what I need to do for the people who elected me.”

According to Michigan Radio, approximately eight thousand Flint residents had received notices that the city would be placing tax liens on their property if their water bills were not paid by May 19.

Two weeks ago the Michigan Legislature agreed to send $100,000,000 in federal funding to fix the contaminated led pipes in Flint.

The people of Flint have been without clean water for three years now, resulting in the city scurrying to create plans to fix the problem, as well as residents suing because of the water crisis. The federal funding Flint will receive (if Gov. Snyder approves of the bill) will likely be a part of the city’s plan to replace 18,000 water lines.

A month ago the city agreed to replace at least 18,000 lead or galvanized steel water lines by 2020, with the state picking up the bill with its own money, along with federal funding.


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