Here’s how low-income residents can pay their property taxes in Detroit

December is here which means that tax time is right around the corner. Recently, a brand-new city ordinance was approved that will allow low-income residents to apply for a poverty tax exemption. This exemption will help residents avoid foreclosure in 2020. Residents can still apply for an exemption on 2018 taxes, but an application must be submitted by Dec. 10.

Here are the eligibility requirements for the poverty tax exemption program. You must:

  • Live alone
  • Make $16,660 a year or less to receive 100% of the exemption
  • Make $19,160 or less to receive 50% of the exemption 

Sweeping changes to the tax program came after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. It stated that the city’s tax program was too difficult to apply for and it wasn’t readily available to residents. 

Alexa Eisenberg was one of the leading members of the group that helped put the ordinance into law. She stated that every eligible member must attend a workshop first, to start the tax process.

“If you think you might be eligible, you’re strongly encouraged to go to a workshop led by a non-profit agency, which will help fill out the application,” said Eisenberg.

Here are the dates, districts, and locations where each workshop will be held:

  • District 1 and 2: Monday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Focus Hope, 1400 Oakman Blvd.
  • District 3 and 4: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Alkebulan Village, 7701 Harper Ave.
  • District 5: Tuesday, Dec. 4t, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Central Detroit Christian, 1550 Taylor St.
  • District 6: Friday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere St.
  • District 7: Thursday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center, 19321 W Chicago St.

For the 2018 tax application, you will need:

  • The deed for the home in your name
  • Current ID for all adults over 18
  • Proof of income for everyone over 18 (Ex.: W2’s, pay stubs, SSI/SSD, food stamps, etc.)
  • Proof of expenses (Ex.: current utility bills, tax payment plan, medical bills, credit card bills, etc.)
  • Financial Assets (Ex.: Bank statement, 401k, insurance settlement, etc.)
  • Report cards for school-age children
  • Notarized letter of help from anyone who is assisting you financially
  • 2017 Federal & State income tax return

There is no fee for the application, which can be found on the City of Detroit’s website. All property taxes are passed through the Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program. For more information regarding the poverty tax exemption program, visit

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