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Deadline for Detroit property tax exemption approaching

A neighborhood in Detroit
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio
Houses in a Detroit neighborhood.

The city of Detroit is offering assistance to people applying for a property tax exemption at the TCF Center this week.

Detroit offers full and partial property tax exemptions to low-income homeowners who meet certain guidelines every year. In recent years, the city has made the program more accessible as a way to help people avoid losing their homes to tax foreclosure.

More than 9,000 households got the exemption last year. But far more people are eligible.

Homeowners must apply for the exemption annually. Starting on Monday, the city is offering application assistance at the TCF Center. Those sessions run through December 14, which is the final day to apply this year.

“This is an opportunity for those who need assistance to receive that assistance. We’ll have staff from Assessors there, along with our community partners, and the Wayne County Treasurers Office to discuss the PAYS program,” Detroit city assessor Alvin Horhn said in an email.

The low-income tax exemption is also the first step for homeowners to apply for the new Pay As You Stay (PAYS) program. That program allows people with past property tax debt to reduce interest and penalties on debt payments and avoid foreclosure.

4,671 Wayne County households are in the PAYS program so far, according to the Wayne County Treasurer’s office.

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Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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