Flint council blocks use of tax liens for unpaid water bills

Posted at 7:08 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 07:08:41-04

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint City Council has blocked a plan that would have put about 8,000 property owners at risk of losing homes due to unpaid water and sewer bills.

Plans for the tax liens on properties across Flint drew protests amid the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water. City Council on Wednesday night approved a one-year moratorium on the liens to give officials time to determine how to handle the issue.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund had called for the moratorium, noting that the city didn’t provide drinkable water.

The Flint Journal reports Chief Interim Financial Officer David Sabuda said the liens amounted to $5.8 million, but about $400,000 has been paid off. He says: “We need every dollar to pay our bills.”