Treasurer’s Office

judithReynolds

Calls for tax amounts, special assessments and water & sewer account questions may be directed to the treasurers office at (810) 385-4489 x1114

Judith Reynolds

Treasurer

Email:
[email protected]

Phone: (810) 385-4489, ext. 1114

Fort Gratiot Township Treasurer Judith Reynolds took office on November 20th, 2004. Until that time, Fort Gratiot Township paid the City of Port Huron to run its tax bills, tax rolls, and tax distribution reports, and make any corrections due to the Tax Tribunal and Board of Review. A separate system was utilized for cash receipting, general ledger and payroll, while a third system, (BS&A software) was being utilized by the Assessing and Building Departments; all of which were incompatible with either system being used by the Treasurer’s Office.

In early 2005, Treasurer Reynolds’ requested the purchase and implementation of the Tax portion of BS&A software, which was approved by the Township Board. Deputy Treasurer Vickie Emigh, has been instrumental in ensuring everything runs smoothly, and has also been extremely helpful to other Townships also shifting over to this system. At this time, the County Treasurer, as well as most municipalities in St. Clair County are now using the BS&A tax system.

Treasurer Reynolds also requested General Ledger, Payroll, Cash Receipting, and Utility and Billing Systems at the time the Fort Gratiot Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the Tax portion of BS&A software. These measures have not only been highly cost-effective, saving the Township time and money. As a result, all offices within the Township are now able to network, running more smoothly and efficiently than ever .

Under MCL 211.44(2), on the last day of February each year, the Treasurer’s Office will be open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If the last day of February falls on a weekend, extended office hours will then be held the following Monday. This statute also provides the Treasurer’s Office remain open for one day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. sometime between December 25th and January 1st. Generally, the Treasurer’s Office extends office hours this day on the last business day the Township is open during the chosen week.


Township Funds:

The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for the collection of Taxes, Water Bills, Permit Fees, and any other fees or payments owed. The Treasurer’s Office is also responsible for depositing, investing, and transferring funds to cover payments, as well as balancing bank statements. The Treasurer also assists in generating yearly budgets, and twice a month provides a complete financial report on all Township funds to the Board of Trustees.

Payment Options:

Payments may be made in person, by mail, or by being placed in the after-hours drop box by check or cash. Credit card payments can be made in person or online, but cannot be accepted over the phone. All payments placed in the drop box on the due date are considered on time. Payments sent via mail are considered on time if postmarked on or before the due date.  To pay online, follow the links below. For the utility bill, select the “Search by Address” option, leave the street name blank and enter your street number in both “Street Number” boxes and click “Search.” This will bring up all Fort Gratiot properties with that street number. Select yours and follow the prompts. For tax bills, you can use any of the search options available on the screen. There are several screens to verify your information before you are charged, including the screen showing the credit card fee. For all credit card transactions the fee is 3% of the transaction, with a minimum fee of $2.00. The fees go directly to the credit card company. You will receive a confirmation email from [email protected] with a confirmation number and the transaction details. Click here to pay your utility bill onlineClick here to pay your tax bill online.

Designated Agent Forms:

If an individual other than the homeowner, such as a mortgage company, is responsible for paying taxes, a Designated Agent form must be filled out and kept on file with the Treasurer’s Office, as required by MCL 211.44(9)(a) passed in April, 1999.

Deferment of July Property Taxes:

If certain criteria are met, July tax on principal residences may be deferred until February 14th without penalty, under MCL 211.51. Applications for this deferment must be filed with the Township Treasurer’s Office no later than September 15th. Gross household income must be under $35,000, and applicants must be at least 62 years of age, an eligible serviceperson or veteran, or disabled as set forth in the law.

July Property Tax Bills:

July tax bills are mailed July 1st, and are due September 14th without penalty. Partial payments are accepted on all taxes. A 2% penalty is added to any unpaid balance on September 15th, with another 1% being added the first of each month thereafter, until the books are closed on March 1st. The July tax bill consists of Port Huron Area School District, St. Clair County RESA (formerly ISD), State Educational Tax, and St. Clair County Operating Tax. The Treasurer’s Office then distributes the taxes collected to the School District, RESA, State and County.

December Property Tax Bills:

December tax bills are mailed December 1st, and are payable on or before February 14th without penalty. Effective February 15th, a 3% penalty is assessed on any unpaid balance. February 28th is the last day to pay Summer or Winter taxes. The December bill includes taxes for the Blue Water Area Transportation Commission; County Operations; including the St. Clair County Drug Task Force, St. Clair County Senior Citizens, County Parks, County Library, and Community College; as well as Fort Gratiot Township Operations; including Township Fire, Police, and Special Assessments. As with the July tax bills, the Treasurer’s Office distributes the collected funds to all individual entities.

Dog Licenses:

As a service to our residents, Dog Licenses may be purchased at the Township Office from December 1st through February 28th. To obtain a dog license, residents must either bring in the form sent from the St. Clair County Dog Control listing current dates, or have proof of current rabies shots, and certificate of spaying or neutering if applicable. The fees for Dog licenses are $12.00 for spayed or neutered dogs, and $22.00 for unspayed/unneutered dogs. After March 1st, Dog Licenses can be obtained at a cost of $40.00 at the St. Clair County Dog Control on Griswold Road.

Garage Sale Permits:

Under Township Ordinance #89, each household is allowed 3 garage sales in any 12 month period. Each sale can span 4 consecutive days. Garage Sale permit fees are $2.00, and all permits must be displayed for the duration of the sale.
Core Competencies: The Building Blocks of Township Government
To ensure that all township officials have the opportunity to learn what they need to know to carry out their statutory  duties as well as understand effective township management practices, the Michigan Townships Association  has identified “core competencies.” Essentially, they are the “nuts and bolts” that each of the four elected offices at the township level should know and/or be skilled in to successfully perform their duties.

The list should not be construed as all-inclusive; rather they should be considered an overview of the knowledge and skill sets that an individual should possess. Note that each checklist is dynamic in the sense that it will change over time, adapting to legislation, legal issues, and other factors that impact township government and the responsibilities of the elected official.

The core competencies address two goals: (1) to create a more-informed, better-educated cadre of township officials who are more confident and competent in carrying out their roles and responsibilities as leaders in their communities; and (2) to generate greater effectiveness on the part of local government. Below are the core competencies for the Treasurer. Please visit the Supervisor, Clerk, and Board of Trustees pages to see the core competencies for those positions.

Township Government Operations
~Demonstrates knowledge about township (general law or charter) government responsibilities, functions and powers
~Identifies the major functions of each branch of government—local, state and federal—along with their relationship to one another
~Understands the statutory duties and responsibilities of the office of township treasurer
~Aware of the roles and responsibilities of other elected and appointed offices in the township
~Demonstrates knowledge of the various committees, boards and commissions serving the township, including their roles and responsibilities
~Understands how township policies and procedures are set
~Demonstrates knowledge of how ordinances are lawfully adopted and legally enforced

 Interpersonal Skills
~Communicates effectively
~Listens attentively
~Works effectively with individuals, departments, and committees to achieve desired outcomes
~Establishes appropriate contacts with banks, mortgage companies, insurance and investment firms
~Possesses knowledge of what constitutes ethical behavior
~Manages adversity and hostility effectively
~Delegates tasks appropriately

Leadership Abilities
~Possesses vision, especially relative to the township’s needs or potential
~Understands how to conduct effective board meetings and is knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure
~Possesses effective policy-making skills and decision-making skills
~Utilizes consensus-building techniques
~Possesses persuasive/influential abilities
~Motivates others to achieve desired outcomes
~Utilizes public relations skills to position the township positively

Administrative Skills
~Demonstrates knowledge of uniform chart of accounts, generally accepted accounting practices and proper internal controls
~Implements sound cash management procedures and proper handling of funds, including knowledge of investment instruments and legal limitations on investments
~Understands elements of investment risks
~Aware of what constitutes lawful township expenditures
~Has ability to generate required financial reports and statements, which are accurate and timely
~Understands the audit process
~Possesses knowledge of the township budget and can project reasonable cash flows on an annual basis
~Understands purchasing policies and the bid process
~Demonstrates knowledge of general property tax administration process, including collection and distribution of tax revenues
~Understands procedures for collecting personal property taxes

Township Issues
~Possesses knowledge about current issues affecting townships
~Aware of legal matters that could impact the township
~Understands the elements of risk management
~Aware of financial matters affecting the township, including revenue sources
~Possesses knowledge about land use
~Understands the planning and zoning process
~Possesses knowledge of township services and their policy implications