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This tax break can help low-income homeowners. Detroiters should apply soon.

Dec 6, 2016

Calling all homeowners.

Did you know that if your income is below a certain level, you can receive tax exemptions on your property tax?

Michigan law calls for it under the General Property Tax Act.

More from the law:

"The principal residence of persons who, in the judgment of the supervisor and board of review, by reason of poverty, are unable to contribute toward the public charges is eligible for exemption in whole or in part from taxation under this act."

Property owners who think they qualify for the program should contact their local city, village, or township office to find out how they might apply for an exemption.

In Detroit, the deadline for applications is fast approaching. It's Dec. 13th, according to Christine MacDonald of the Detroit News.

Read below to see if you're qualified and where to apply to the program in Detroit.

What is the program?

The Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program is an opportunity for low-income Detroit residents to receive tax exemptions or reductions on property taxes. 

Who reviews applications?

The Detroit Board of Review manages application reviews. According to documentation, the board is composed of nine members who serve based on knowledge and familiarity with real estate valuation, assessment practices, and taxation. 

What household income qualifies for an exemption?

Full exemptions based on household number and yearly income are as follows:

  • 1 person per household - $16,660.00
  • 2 people per household - $19,950.00
  • 3 people per household - $22,100.00
  • 4 people per household - $25,600.00
  • 5 people per household - $28,410.00
  • 6 people per household - $32,570.00
  • 7 people per household - $36,730.00
  • 8 people per household - $40,890.00

In other words, an individual must make $16,660 a year or less to qualify for the tax exemption.

Individuals with higher incomes may qualify for a partial (50%) income tax deduction as well. The household number to yearly income are as followed:

  • 1 person per household - $19,160.00
  • 2 people per household - $22,450.00
  • 3 people per household - $24,600.00
  • 4 people per household - $28,100.00
  • 5 people per household - $30,910.00
  • 6 people per household - $35,070.00
  • 7 people per household - $39,230.00
  • 8 people per household - $43,390.00

What other qualifications must homeowners meet?

Some of the most important requirements include:

  • Residents must have owned and occupied the property as a primary household by December 31,2015 or earlier
  • The house must have below a $95,000 taxable value
  • The household's assets -- including bank accounts, other property, stocks, bonds and IRA's -- cannot exceed $12,000

How can I pick an application up?

According to the Detroit News' MacDonald, applicants can pick up applications on the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center's eighth floor. Some think the process could be made easier for low-income residents.

More from The Detroit News:

Greg Markus, the executive director of the Detroit Action Commonwealth, a nonprofit that helps the poor, said the city could make it easier for residents to apply. His group wants the application online for those who can’t trek to the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building and has asked the city to distribute the paperwork in different languages.

“The system is unjust the way it stands,” said Markus, a professor emeritus from the University of Michigan. “It is hurting thousands of low income Detroiters and that is just not right.”