Department of the Treasurer
Thank you for visiting our website. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the many services provided through the Treasurer's office. I would like your experience to be a pleasant one, and I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.
- Jon Satkowiak, Treasurer
Facts About the Treasurer's Department
- The Treasurer's Department consists of the treasurer, deputy treasurer and utility billing clerk.
- The department is responsible for all revenue collections including taxes, utility billing, special assessments and all other fees.
- The department is responsible for investment of all surplus funds.
- The department maintains all financial records and oversees the yearly audit by a contracted certified public accountant (CPA) firm.
- Under the direction of the City Manager, the department coordinates the development and administration of the City's annual budget.
- The department is responsible for the accounts payable for the City.
Genesee County Tax and Assessment Information
The department is always willing to respond to taxpayer inquiries in person or by phone. Taxes are levied July 1 and December 1 of each year. About 6,000 tax bills are mailed each year.
The City Treasurer collects and distributes your property tax bill for the following entities:
- State of Michigan
- Mott Community College
- Fenton, Lake Fenton and Holly Schools
- Genesee County
- Oakland County
- Genesee County Library
- Bishop Airport
- Mass Transportation Authority
- Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation
- City of Fenton
- Genesee County and Oakland County Intermediate Schools
Utility bills consist of water, sewer and recycling. The utilities are billed on a quarterly basis. Residents should receive a bill approximately the first of January, April, July and October.
The City's fiscal year end is June 30th. After the annual audit, a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is compiled. This report is available for public review at City Hall.
Each City Administrator is responsible for compiling a budget for their departments. After review by the City Manager, the budget is presented to City Council. The annual budget must be adopted by City Council by the 3rd Monday in May for the coming fiscal year.
- What are our office hours?
Our offices are open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. If you are unable to come in person during these hours, there is a drop box located in the Police Station lobby which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- What is the difference between real and personal property taxes?
Real property is property which is attached, such as land and buildings. Real taxes are assessed on either commercial/industrial or residential property.
Personal property is furniture and fixtures used in a business.
- Can I charge my taxes on my credit card?
Yes. You may pay in the office or through our third-party processor, Invoice Cloud. Using a credit card requires a fee, which is NOT collected by the city, but by the processor.
- When are tax bills mailed out?
Tax bills are mailed around or on July 1st and December 1st of every year. If the day falls on a weekend, they are mailed on the Monday following the first. If you have not received your bill by July 15th or December 15th, do not hesitate to call the Treasurer's office. We will gladly reprint one and mail you the copy. However, you are still responsible for paying your taxes by the due date even if you haven't received your bill.
- Can I defer my Summer taxes?
Summer taxes can only be deferred under these circumstances:
Until September 15th, summer taxes can be deferred for payment until the last day of February the following year for Principle Residence homeowners who meet the following qualifications:
Age 62 or older
Paraplegic or Quadriplegic or Blind
Totally or Permanently Disabled (bring 1040A - schedule 2 or 1040 - schedule R)
Eligible Serviceperson/Veteran (and surviving spouse)
Household Income (including Social Security/Pension, etc.) does not exceed $35,000.
To obtain a deferment, please bring the following documents to the Treasury Department:
- Your latest Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit (Form MI-1040-CR must be filed)
- Your Medicare or VA card
- Your Summer Tax Bill
- Can I defer my Winter taxes?
To defer winter property taxes, the taxpayer must meet the following criteria:
- Must have household income of $35,000 or less - except for eligible service person, veterans or their widows, who are limited to household incomes of $7,500 or less
- Must be one of the following: 62 years or older; a blind person; a paraplegic or quadriplegic; an eligible service person, eligible veteran or eligible widow or widower
- Must file a Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit claim signed and dated by February 14 (must present a copy of the front and back of the form when paying taxes at the Genesee County Treasurer's office)
- Must have either the State of Michigan refund check issued after March 1 or a copy of the check when paying taxes at the Genesee County Treasurer's office
- Must have copies of the tax bills
If all the above criteria are met, Genesee County will waive interest and penalties until April 30. Taxes must be paid in full. If you have any questions, please contact the Genesee County Treasurer's Office at 810-257-3556.
- How can I receive a credit or have my property taxes reduced?
The credits available do not originate from the City. The State of Michigan has a homestead property tax credit that can be calculated annually as part of the income tax filing. In addition, a separate calculation is available for senior citizens for their principal residence taxes. More information on these credits can be obtained from the website www.treas.state.mi.us or by calling 800-482-7000. Information regarding principal residence exemptions and poverty exemptions are available from the City Assessor's department at 810-629-2261.
- My tax bill has someone else's name on it, what should I do?
First, make sure it is your tax bill by checking the permanent parcel number and legal description. If it is your bill, most likely there has been a recent ownership change and the taxpayer information has not been updated. If this is the case, you may pay on the bill you received. Please note, it is the taxpayer's responsibility to pay by the due date.
- Where can I pay my taxes and what payment options are available?
- At our office: City Hall is located at 301 S Leroy Street
- Mail: Please include the tax bill stub and note parcel number on your check. Do not send cash!
- Drop box: There is a drop box in the Police Station lobby, which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- Cash: Only at City Hall
- Check/Money Order: City Hall, Mail or Drop Box
- Credit Cards: Through our processor, Invoice Cloud.
- I did not receive a tax bill: can you waive penalty and interest?
No. The Treasurer cannot waive penalties and interest. The State holds that the taxpayer is responsible to know what taxes are and to pay them on time.
- If I can't pay my tax bill on time, will it affect my credit rating?
No, the City does not report anything concerning your payment habits to the Credit Bureaus.
- What if I can't pay the tax bill when it is due?
You may make a partial payment by paying the line items from the taxing jurisdictions on your tax bill up until the due date without penalty.
- If I can't pay my Summer tax bill by the due date, what is the penalty and how long can I pay at the City?
The penalty is 4% if paid before the last day of February. After March 1st, the taxes are the responsibility of Genesee County for collection and will need to be paid at the Genesee County Administration building. Be sure to call the Genesee County Treasurer at 810-257-3054 for updated penalties and interest and payment options.
- The taxable value or Principle Residence exemption for my property is being corrected at the board of review, should I wait for the corrected bill before paying?
No. The bill received is due and payable by the due date and in the amount on the bill.
If the change to your account by the Board of Review is necessary, it will be processed by the Treasurer's office within 30 days of receipt of the final report of the adjustment from the Board. Until we receive a valid change to an account, the original bill remains as stated. Our office cannot adjust any accounts prior to receiving authorization from the Board of Review.
If the change requires a refund due to the overpayment of tax, it will generally be processed within 30 days of the adjustment to your account. Please note that in the case of a Principle Residence exemption adjustment, we are required to issue the refund to the taxpayer qualifying for the exemption, not to the one who may have paid the tax.
- Why can't I pay my taxes at City Hall after the last day of February?
The City of Fenton has to close the tax books on the last day of February. Genesee County buys the outstanding real property tax from us as of the last day of February. All real property tax inquiries after March 1 should be made to Genesee County at 810-257-3054. We have no record of what is paid once the taxes are sent to Genesee County. Personal property is maintained at the City level. Please call our office for updated tax with penalties and interest amount at 810-629-2261.
- My taxes are too high, how can I reduce my taxes?
The first thing you should do is talk to the Assessor about the valuation on your property. You can also check the appraisal records at City Hall to make sure all components of the property are correct.
- What is the State Education Tax (SET)?
The State Education Tax (SET) is a statewide tax that supports all public schools in Michigan. The current rate is 6 mills. This tax is required to be paid in the summer. The SET is levied on all property types (residential, industrial, personal, etc.) in the State of Michigan.
- What is a mill?
A mill is $1 per $1,000 of the taxable value of the property.
- I do not have children in school. Is there a property tax exemption for this?
No. All residents pay school taxes whether they have children in school or not. However, residents who own and occupy as their principal residence pay a lower school tax rate.
- My tax bill shows more than just city taxes. Why is that?
The City also collects taxes for our schools, Mott Community College, Genesee County, Bishop Airport, Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation, Genesee Intermediate Schools, Mass Transportation Authority, and where applicable, Oakland County and Oakland Schools.
- What is revenue sharing and how does Fenton benefit?
Under the Revenue Sharing program, sales taxes collected by the State of Michigan are distributed to local governments.
- Who is the Treasurer?
Jon Satkowiak has been the Fenton Treasurer since August of 2018. Prior to becoming Treasurer, he had served as the Deputy Treasurer since March 2016. He graduated from Baker College with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He is a member of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association, as well as the Government Finance Officers Administration.
- Can I get a discount for paying my taxes early?
No, there are no discounts for early payment.
- I heard City employees don’t pay taxes. Is this true?
This is completely untrue. All government employees (whether City, County, State or Federal) are subject to all taxes just like everyone else.
- Does all this money go to the City?
Though the City collects taxes, not all the money goes to the City. If you look at the breakdown provided on your tax bill, you will see which units of government get a share of your taxes. The County and school districts receive a larger portion of your property taxes than the City. Also, special millages may be levied for bonded debts, special assessments, etc.
- How do I claim a poverty exemption?
Please contact the Assessor at 810-629-2261 for this information. Very detailed instructions must be followed in order to be granted a poverty exemption. Although the Assessor will help you understand the paperwork, the burden lies on you for completion of that paperwork and presentation before the Board of Review.