The Treasurer’s Department is responsible for the billing, collection and deposits of monies due to the City (including property taxes, water & sewer bills, invoices and monies collected by other City departments) and the management and investments of idle funds.
Traci McGrath is the City's Treasurer and can be reached between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 695-3844 extension 16 or email Traci.
Along with the City property taxes, this office is also responsible for the billing and collection of various school district taxes and distribution of these taxes to the appropriate school district.
This department also prepares and maintains the City’s financial records according to State Law and the City Charter and assists in the preparation and maintenance of the annual budget.
- 2019 Financial Report
- Debt Service Report 2019-2020
- Revenue Sharing and County Incentive Program Certification - Form 4886
- 2019 Projected Budget Report
- 2019 Buchanan Community Dashboard
- 2019 Employee Compensation Plan
- 2019 Summer & Winter Tax Rates
- Water and Sewer
- 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Budget
- 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget
- Property Tax Estimator
- 2019 Projected Budget
- Treasurer’s Frequently Asked Questions
General Property Tax Information
Your annual property taxes are determined by multiplying the number of mills assessed, times each $1,000 increment of the assessment on your home (homes are assessed at one-half of their market value). Tax levy is based on the taxable value, not assessed value of your property. Taxes are billed twice each year on July 1st and on December 1st.
Summer 2020 Taxes are due on or before August 10, 2020. After this date, a 4% penalty is assessed.
July 1st will be the larger of the tax bills as it includes the taxes for the City of Buchanan, Buchanan School District, Lake Michigan College, Berrien County Intermediate School District, State Education and Dial-a-Ride, and a portion of the County tax.
December 1st tax billing will include Berrien County (County General, 911 System, Law Enforcement, Senior Center), Buchanan District Library and SMCAS taxes.
Winter 2020 Taxes will be due on or before February 14, 2021. After this date a 3% penalty is assessed through March 2, 2021. March 3rd all taxes are to be paid to:
Berrien County Treasurer’s Office
701 Main Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085-1392
269-684-5274 Extension 8569
The City cannot collect delinquent taxes nor can we answer any delinquent tax questions. All delinquent tax inquiries will be forwarded to the County Treasurer’s Department.
Qualifications for Deferral of Summer Taxes
Homeowners can delay paying summer taxes until February 14, if the total household income is $40,000 or less (as shown on the Michigan Homestead Property tax return, line 30) as long as the taxpayer can be classified as one of the following:
- Senior citizen (age 62 or older)
- Paraplegic, quadriplegic or totally and permanently disabled
- Currently serving in the military with household income less than $7,500
- A veteran who:
- Receives a compensation for a service connected disability,
- Served in the military during the Vietnam era, Korean War, World War II, World War I or earlier wars, and has a household income of $7,500 or less
- The un-remarried, surviving spouse of any service person or veteran who:
- Met either qualification above
- Died while serving in the military.
Taxpayers may claim a deferment by filing an application for deferment of summer taxes. A deferral form is available at City Hall. Taxpayers eligible for deferral must file an “Application of Deferment” every year.