Low-income Detroit homeowners can apply to have taxes eliminated through Dec. 9

December 05, 2019, 10:59 AM by  Violet Ikonomova

Updated Tuesday, Dec. 10, 12:30 a.m.: 

The city has extended the deadline to apply for the poverty tax exemption. Residents now now have until Dec. 20.

Original post:

Detroiters homeowners have until Monday to apply for a tax exemption that would temporarily eliminate their property tax bill and potentially put them on a path to eliminating past debts.

The so-called poverty exemption has long been available to low-income Michiganders, but only about a fifth of the more than 30,000 Detroit households believed to be eligible obtain it. The exemption eliminates the taxes owed on a home by 100 percent or 50 percent, depending on income, for a year and can be applied for annually.

The city of Detroit, housing nonprofits and others are hoping to increase the number of residents that receive the exemption amid an ongoing crisis of tax delinquency that threatens to further destabilize neighborhoods. Approximately 30,000 Detroit properties are on the brink of foreclosure each year. 

Homeowners approved for the exemption could also for the first time become eligible to have their existing tax debts greatly reduced, should the Legislature approve a new so-called "pay as you stay" proposal. That plan — unveiled earlier this year by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans — eliminates interest and fees and reduces the debts to 10 percent of the home's value or less.

Workshops to help residents with exemption applications are being held across the city through the Dec. 9 deadline.

  • Friday, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. at Southwest Economic Solutions, 2826 Bagley St.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. — 12 p.m. at the Detroit Association of Women's Clubs, 5461 Brush St.
  • Monday, 2 p.m. — 6 p.m. at the East Side Community Network, 4401 Conner.
  • Monday, 9 a.m. — 12 p.m. at the Black Caucus Foundation, 2470 Collingwood St. 
  • Monday, 9 a.m. — 12 p.m. at the United Community Housing Coalition, 2727 Second Ave.

The poverty exemption application is also available online. Additional information is available on the city of Detroit's website.

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