City program offers Detroit residents chance to lower tax bills

The City of Detroit is urging homeowners to apply for a program that could lower their tax bill.

One Detroit resident could have lost her home when she found it challenging to afford her property taxes.

"I got hurt at work last year, so I was stuck in between - like how am I going to pay my taxes," said Tomika Hodo.

But thanks to an initiative called Homeowner's Property Tax Assistance Program, Hodo was able to keep her home.  

"This program is for real and I'm going to help spread the word," she said.

Eligible residents receive either a 100% or 50% exemption on their property taxes but starting this year a 25% exemption will also be offered.

"People who were not income-eligible before may be this year," Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Homeowners are eligible for this program if they meet certain criteria, like making sure the home is their primary residence or income requirements.

"If you are an individual making less than $22,000 thousand a year or a family of four making $32,000 a year, you are likely eligible to have between 25% and 100% of your property taxes forgiven," Duggan said.
City officials are urging residents who need this assistance to complete an application as soon as possible.

"If you get your forms in by March 21, our treasure assessment office has told us that when you get your bill it will be appropriately reduced," Duggan said.

The Quicken Loans Community Fund is providing funding to community groups that are reaching out to the 60,000 families living in Detroit properties that are behind on their taxes.

"We need to increase the number of people who are applying for these exemptions," said Laura Grannermann with the Quicken Loans Community Fund.

This program is not just a win for residents it also helps the city in a number of ways.

"The last thing the city needs is more vacant houses. They cost us more in police runs, they cost us more in demolition costs and they lower the property values," Duggan said.
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