The Finance Department consists of three major areas: 1) Accounts payable; 2) Treasury (property tax payment); and 3) Water Billing.  There are five full-time staff including the Director.

In addition, the department is responsible for creation of the annual budget and capital improvement plan; management of the city’s finances; responding to general inquiries; and garage sale permits.

 Joe Mangan 2

Finance Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: 700 Broad Street
Phone: (269) 983-4731
Fax: (269) 985-0347

The Finance Department is located on the first floor of City Hall and is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM.


The Finance Department is the city's central fiscal control and accounting agency and is responsible for the original entry of all City assets, liabilities, equities, receipts and expenditures of the City. Under the direction of the Finance Director, the department develops and maintains accounting systems for all financial transactions in conformity with the City Charter, State law and generally accepted accounting principles. We prepare the City's annual budget, with the assistance of the City Manager and management staff. The financial condition of the City is monitored through budget amendments and forecasts. Internal management reports are generated to facilitate daily operations and decision-making. We coordinate with the City's external auditor to produce the City's annual financial statements.

The department's daily finance and accounting activities include accounts payable, accounts receivable, utility billing, risk management, monthly financial reports, investment, debt management and cash-flow management.

Budget Documents
Annual Audit
Schedule of Fees

Estate, Garage or Rummage Sale Permits

The Finance Department is responsible for issuing rummage or garage sale permits and can be obtained during normal business hours.  There is no cost for the permit and it needs to be displayed prominently in a window visible from the street. 

The City Code of Ordinances (Chapter 24, Article II beginning with Section 24-18) requires a permit to be issued for a carport, estate, garage, rummage, yard or similar sale.  One sale per location is allowed per calendar year for no more than three days.  Signage must be located on private property, not exceeding 6 square feet in size and be in accordance with Chapter 25 Signs of the Code of Ordinances.  The allowable hours of a sale are 8 am to 7 pm.

Property Taxes

The Finance Director serves as the City Treasurer and as such is responsible for the preparation of the City's tax roll, as well as the billing, collection, and settlement of all property taxes levied in the City.  Property tax amounts are based on approved millage rates and cover the current calendar year. The City collects and distributes tax revenue, below are some of the taxing bodies that we collect for:

  • City of St. Joseph
  • Berrien County
  • St. Joseph and Benton Harbor Public Schools
  • State Education Tax
  • Berrien Intermediate School District
  • Lake Michigan College

Summer Taxes

  • Billed July 1; due and payable through 5:00 PM on September 15th
    • Mailed payments must be received before 5:00 PM on September 15th (postmarks are not used) 
    • Payments placed in drop boxes after 5:00 PM on September 15th are considered late
  • 4% penalty is added on September 16th
  • Last day to pay summer tax bills at the City is the last day of February
  • March 1st all unpaid taxes are turned over to the Berrien County Treasurer for collection

Winter Taxes

  • Billed December 1; due and payable through 5:00 PM on February 14th
      • Mailed payments must be received before 5:00 PM on September 15th (postmarks are not used)
      • Payments placed in drop boxes after 5:00 PM on September 15th are considered late
    • 3% penalty is added on February 15th based on City Charter
    • Last day to pay winter tax bills at the City is the last day of February
    • March 1st all unpaid taxes are turned over to the Berrien County Treasurer for collection

Additional Information

Property Tax Deferments
  • Summer Deferments – The Michigan Department of Treasury has created an FAQ regarding Summer Tax Deferment.  Senior Citizens, who meet legal qualifications, can defer payment of summer taxes until February 14th by filing the deferment form with the tax department. To qualify seniors must own and occupy their home, must be over 62 years of age and either paraplegic, quadriplegic, eligible serviceperson, eligible veteran, eligible widow or widower, blind or permanently disabled with annual income under $40,000. 

  •   Winter Deferments – Senior Citizens must file a Homestead Property Tax Credit form with the State of Michigan (as part of the Michigan 1040 form) and qualify for a refund. A copy of the completed form must be brought to the tax office before February 15th. After the last day of February, taxes must be paid to the Berrien County Treasurer's Office at 701 Main Street, St. Joseph.
  • Special Assessments exists on various parcels within the city. Please contact the Finance Office for payoff details.

 Water Billing

Water Billing is located within the Finance Department and is responsible for the following: 1) setting up new water service accounts after an application has been received; 2) coordinating the sale of new meters (used for new construction or upgrades to service); 3) customer billing; 4) payment processing; 5) arranging for the final meter readings when service is terminated; and 6) coordinating shut offs when the account is delinquent.

The City of St. Joseph provides the services listed above to over 15,000 customers found in the City of St. Joseph, Lincoln Charter Township, Royalton Township, and St. Joseph Charter Township.   The four communities are part of the Water Services Joint Operating Board (WSJOB) which has adopted Rules and Regulations for the fair and consistent treatment of all utility customers within the Greater St. Joseph Water System.  Water rates are reviewed and adopted annually.
To report an after-hours emergency for water or sewer, please call the Berrien County Dispatch at 269-926-2538. 
Phone: 269-983-6324
Fax: 269-985-0347
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Billing for water and sewer services are completed quarterly depending on which jurisdiction the property is located in.  Typically, the bill is mailed or emailed and is due on the 21st of the month. 
Below are the four quarterly billing schedule:
• City of St. Joseph - January, April, July and October
• Royalton Township - January, April, July and October
• St. Joseph Charter Township - February, May, August and November
• Lincoln Charter Township - March, June, September and December
In all cases the bill is due three weeks after it is issued on the 21st of the month and shut offs begin on the 15th day of the following month.  A 10% penalty is assessed on the current water and sewer charges for bills paid after the due date.  To view your accounts payment and usage history, you will need your six-digit account number, then follow the prompts.
To set up new service:
All property owner's desiring water to their property from the St. Joseph Water System must make application by filing a Water Service Agreement form with the City of St. Joseph.  This can be done by email or in person. Federal regulations require that all customers provide a valid photo ID.  A fillable verson of the form is available below; please email the completed form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with a copy of your photo ID.  The Water Service Agreement form can also be completed in person at city hall. 
To stop service: 
Call the water department at 269-983-6324 to arrange for a final water meter reading.  Be ready to tell us the date you are moving out and a forwarding address for your final water bill.  24 hour notice required to schedule a final reading.

Payment Options

  • In person: City Hall is located at 700 Broad Street, St. Joseph.  Cash, check, or credit/debit card (fees apply) payment can be processed and a receipt provided during normal business hours.  
  • On-site Drop box: There are three drop boxes located at City Hall, 700 Broad Street: 1) inside the vestibule at the Broad Street entrance; 2) outside the Broad Street entrance (do not use the USPS box located near the street); and 3) the drive up box located on the west side of the alley near the building.  If using the drop box, please include your tax or water stub.  No receipt will be sent.
  • US Mail service: Send your check along with the utility bill stub or tax bill stub to: City of St. Joseph, 700 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.  Credit card payments cannot be processed by mail.  Please allow enough time for delivery.  Payments received after the deadline are considered late, regardless of when mailed.  
  • Telephone: Credit card payments can be made any of the three options below.  Please note there is a convenience fee equal to 3% of the payment amount ($2 minimum) that will be assessed for all credit/debit card payments. There is an E-check option, $3 for amounts up to $10,000, $10 for amounts over $10,000. 

    Automated service:    Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
Telephone number is 866-279-6342 
Select option 1 for Summer Taxes, option 2 for Winter Taxes, option 3 for Utility Payments

    Talk to a customer service representative:
Available Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
Telephone number is 888-891-6064 option 1

  • On-line: Click on the green "Pay My Bill" icon, and follow the prompts to pay with credit card/debit card (fees apply)
  • Your banks Online Bill pay: Create a Water dept payee: St. Joseph Water Dept, 700 Broad Street St, Joseph MI 49085.  Be sure to include your 6 digit account number.  Please note: this is not an electronic transfer. Your bank will mail us a paper check, so be sure to allow enough time for delivery. 





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