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Three Steps to Applying for Poverty Exemption from Michigan Property Taxes

Taxpayers must apply for the poverty exemption every year.  Every municipality is required to have an income test and an asset test. 

The exemption is not always a full exemption (meaning all taxes are exempted).  Usually it is only a partial exemption. There are several things you must do to get the exemption:

  1. Exemption is only on your principle residence;
  2. You must apply for the exemption each year; 
  3. Your household income must be lower than what your township requires (income test); and
  4. The value of your assets must be lower than what your township requires (asset test).

If you are struggling to pay your property taxes, you should also consider appealing the value that the assessor has placed on your property. 

Step 1: Get the application from your local assessor

  • Every township must have a formal application form.  Make sure you have your township's form.
  • Some assessors may send you an application by mail, but it is at the township's discretion. Many townships have part-time assessors who are at the office very limited hours.  Call ahead to make sure they are there to pick up an application. 
  • A new law passed in 2020 requires townships that have a website to make the application available on their website.

Step 2: Complete the application and submit to the local assessor

  • It is important to fill in the application completely! If a question does not apply to you, put "N/A" as the answer.
  • Attach all of the supporting documents that the township requires to consider your application.
  • You must satisfy the township's income test and asset test.  They are obligated to tell you what those tests are. These tests may be in the application materials, on their website, or somehow posted at the township assessor's office.

Step 3: Wait for Board of Review determination

  • It may be some time before you get a determination, it is crucial to make sure that you actually receive a determination!   
  • If your application is granted, the letter should inform you of how much exemption you received and let you know about your new (lower) property tax amount.

IF YOUR APPLICATION FOR A POVERTY EXEMPTION IS DENIED, YOU HAVE APPEAL RIGHTS TO THE MICHIGAN TAX TRIBUNAL

THREE STEPS TO APPEALING A POVERTY EXEMPTION DENIAL


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