How are you supposed to pay water bills for water that you can’t even use without a filter? That’s a question many Flint residents have likely asked themselves over the last three years, but that hasn’t stopped them from being hit with possible tax liens.
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It’s being reported that over 8,000 Flint residents are facing possible tax liens stemming from unpaid water bills, water which has been severely contaminated with high levels of lead, beginning three years ago. As if they haven’t suffered enough by not having access to the basic necessity of clean water, now they are being penalized for refusing to pay for it.
The Root is reporting that as a result of the possible tax liens many Flint residents are being threatened with the loss of their homes. Recently, the more than 8,000 residents who have unpaid water bills received notices stating that if their balances are not paid by May 19, a tax lien will be placed on their homes.
Al Mooney, of Flint’s treasury department, apparently sees the possible tax liens as a way to fund the city. He spoke to the press about the development, stating “We have to have revenue coming in, so we can’t give people … water at the tap and not get revenue coming in to pay those bills.” He continued to explain that last month’s water shut-offs were already working in the city’s favor, with nearly $3 million brought in. In the month prior, the city only collected $2.1 million.
Meanwhile Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) seems to be seeing this from the logical standpoint of Flint residents, instead of only being concerned with monetary benefits. He issued the following statement on the recent developments:
“Flint families should not have to pay for water that they still cannot drink, and they certainly should not lose their homes over this ongoing water crisis that was caused by the callous decisions of state government. It is unfortunate that Gov. Snyder ended water credits for Flint families. I opposed this decision because Flint families deserve support from the state until there is confidence in the water system again.”