NEWS RELEASE   7/10/2012

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PROPERTY OWNERS PROTESTING THE CITY OF FLINT STREET LIGHTING SPECIAL ASSESSMENT RECEIVE LETTER EXPLAINING REASONS FOR ASSESSMENT AND OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO THEM.
Flint, Michigan ó July 9, 2012ó The City of Flint will send out letters to property owners who protested the street lighting special assessment district this week. The letter explains the need for the special assessment and what options are available to them by law. Along with a general explanation, the letter also explains the criteria of combinations of contiguous parcels and the process for poverty exemptions for low income residents.

As the letter states, public safety was a motivating factor for the Emergency Manager Michael Brown and his team in the creation of the special assessment. Public safety is paid for by and is the single largest expense of the General Fund, which is where funding for street lighting has come from in the past. The $2.85 million cost of street lighting is roughly equivalent to the cost of 25 police officers; rather than using the General Fund to cover the cost of street lighting, a special assessment district was created.

As stated before, the cost of the special assessment for street lighting is now set at $66.05 per parcel, per year; that is a decrease from the estimate of $74.22 presented at the June public hearing.

Residents seeking to combine contiguous parcels need to apply at the City Assessorís Office at Flint City Hall or obtain an application online at cityofflint.com and return it to the Assessorís Office by July 31, 2012. If residentsí parcels meet the criteria established, they will be able to combine their contiguous parcels at no cost.

For residents seeking a poverty exemption, an application is also available at City Hall in the Assessorís office and online. Residents will need to complete a declaration of poverty form and return it to the Assessorís office by Friday, July 13. If residents miss the July13 deadline, they can still apply by December 7, 2012 and, if approved, will receive relief retroactive to the July tax bill.

All property owners that submitted protest of the assessment have preserved their right to appeal their assessment to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Information for the appeal process can be found on the State of Michiganís website.

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