About the County Treasurer’s Office
Reach us: (231) 348-1715
Meet the Staff
About the Treasurer, Marilyn May
Marilyn May has been the Emmet County Treasurer for over 10 years and was the Deputy Treasurer for five years prior. Marilyn was born in the Upper Peninsula but raised in the downriver Detroit area, spending summers and vacations with the grandparents in Mackinac County. In the early 1970s, she moved with her family to the Elk Rapids area and worked in Traverse City. She attended Northwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University, earning a degree in Computer Information Systems. She moved to Emmet County in July of 1997 to accept the Deputy Treasurer position. She currently resides in Pellston with three of her grandchildren. She is a big Red Wings fan, an avid reader and spends much of her spare time with her family in the UP.
Treasurer’s Office Staff
Chief Deputy Treasurer
Brooke Milbrandt, Property Specialist
Dorthy Oldham, Internal Controls
Valerie Budnik, Deputy Treasurer
Role of the Treasurer’s Office
The County Treasurer’s Office was established by the Michigan State Constitution (Article VII, Section 4). The duties and powers of the County Treasurer are provided by State law and by authorization of the County Board of Commissioners. The Treasurer is also a member of the Plat Board, the Elections Commission, the County Apportionment Commission and the Land Bank Authority.
The two main roles of the Treasurer are receiving, safeguarding and investing county funds and the collection of delinquent taxes.
The Treasurer serves as the custodian of all County funds and is responsible for receiving and investing all money deposited with the County. My priorities when investing excess funds are first to keep the money safe and second to earn as much return as possible keeping in compliance with the restrictions on public funds. Whenever possible I prefer to keep funds invested locally.
Emmet County has 22 local unit treasurers who bill and collect property taxes. Beginning March 1 of each year all unpaid real property taxes are turned over to the County Treasurer for collection. After balancing with each unit, I borrow the funds necessary to pay each taxing authority in full. We then proceed to collect the delinquent taxes with statutory interest and penalty. The funds collected are then used to pay off the borrowing. If the Treasurer’s Office has been unsuccessful in collecting the delinquent tax the property will be foreclosed upon. Click here for more information on the tax reversion process.
The Treasurer’s Office also sells Dog licenses. After many requests from dog owners, we recently switched to a three year license system. The licenses expire at the end of the month the rabies vaccination expires instead of all licenses expiring at the end of the year. By doing this we spread the renewals throughout the year rather than having everyone renewing in the same few months. This also cuts the number of licenses issued by 2/3 each year saving taxpayer dollars and time. Click here for dog licensing information.
The State requires under Public Act 105 that a PRE Audit be performed annually. Rather than have the State audit our Primary Resident Exemptions, my office has taken on the PRE Audit. We go through our tax roll and look for properties that are claiming a questionable Primary Residence Exemption. We also receive referrals from other residents questioning someone’s PRE. Due to our proximity we are able to rule out a lot of questionable PREs that the State would have denied making the process more efficient and less frustrating to Emmet County property owners. Click here for more information on the Primary Residence Exemption and the County’s audit.
The Treasurer’s Office certifies that all delinquent taxes are paid for every warranty deed that is recorded in the Register of Deeds Office. Previously, this was done by physically stamping and signing the deed. Recently the Register of Deeds has put a lot of effort into revamping their processes to be able to handle e-filing in their office. Click here for more information on their newly available process. This has not only helped their work flow but ours as well. We can now certify deeds electronically. We are also able to e-file certificates of forfeiture, redemption certificates and notices of foreclosure, saving taxpayer dollars through less paper and storage cost and employee time.