Deadline for Low-Income Detroiters to Apply for Property Tax Exemption is December 13

Some assistance is being offered for applicants still hoping to file before the deadline.

The deadline for low-income Detroiters to apply to have their 2021 property taxes reduced or eliminated through the city’s Homeowners Property Exemption, or HOPE program, is Monday, December 13. Applications must be delivered to the City Assessor’s office, deposited in a sealed envelope in a dropbox in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, or completed online by 4:30 PM December 13.

Applicants must meet income and asset limitations in order to be eligible for the program. For example, a two-person household cannot make more than $21,205.00 or have more than $12,000 in assets to qualify for a full exemption, though partial exemptions are available.

City of Detroit
City of Detroit

Applicants must also submit several documents including proof that they own their home, proof of residency for all minors in the household and more. The complete list of acceptable documents can be found here

“This is an opportunity to help stabilize our communities as long as people take the opportunity to file,” says Willie Donwell, the administrator of the City of Detroit Board of Review, the group responsible for deciding whether or not an applicant is eligible for property tax exemption. “We cannot automatically grant exemptions without an application, and we have to go by what is filed so just make sure that you provide all the required documentation.”

The city and nonprofit partners have been offering in-person events to help people apply for the program. The final two training events of the year will be held on December 10 and 11 at the Lasky Recreation Center. Interested applicants should schedule an appointment. Several non-profit partners, listed below, are also offering assistance in completing the online or paper applications.

City of Detroit
City of Detroit

Each community in Michigan is required by Michigan state law MCL 211.7u to offer a program like HOPE. Detroit’s program had previously been called the Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HP-TAP), the Property Tax Exemption or the Poverty Tax Exemption (PTE), and the Hardship Program but the name was recently changed to the Homeowners Property Exemption or HOPE.

“We were looking for a way to better brand and better connect with the community, making it easier for everyone to understand and be connected to it,” says Donwell. “So, we just made the name very simple and made it exactly what it was – Homeowners Property Exemption.”

Donwell says applicants should know whether or not they were approved for the program by early next week.

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  • Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.