On Monday, City Council agreed to transfer more than $80,000 from the city’s general fund to refund four commercial property owners for real estate taxes from the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The four businesses—, , and the —had tax appeal cases pending in the Michigan Tax Tribunal until June when Woods City Assessor Ginger Soles and City Attorney Don Berschback signed stipulated agreements to settle the cases.
According to a report by Woods City Treasurer, Dee Ann Irby, the refunds were issued to the property owners by Wayne County Treasurer’s office and a bill for Grosse Pointe Woods’ share, $90,189.23, was received on Aug. 5.
Irby stated that because the cases were settled in 2012, the budget for that fiscal year must also be amended to reflect the refund payment.
The city’s account used for real estate tax refunds has $9,800 in it but the additional amount of $80,389.23 from the city’s general fund was requested by the city treasurer to pay the entire amount due to Wayne County.
City Attorney Chip Berschback explained that the Woods prepares for the possibility of decreased revenues due to tax tribunal appeal cases like these by analyzing the pending cases and building the possible refunds into the future fiscal planning.
“It’s budgeted accordingly by making some assumptions on how much revenue we are not going to bring in that year,” Berschback said.
Council and Finance Committee liasion Todd McConaghy led the motion to approve the fund transfer and pay Wayne County. The motion passed unanimously and without any discussion by the council.