City of Detroit to accept Homeowners Property Tax Exemption applications through December 20

City of Detroit to accept applications for Homeowner Property Tax exemption program for eligible Detroiters through December 20

  • Eligible homeowners can receive 50% or full exemption from paying property taxes
  • Applications will be accepted beyond the original December 9th deadline for individuals seeking financial assistance

The City of Detroit announced that the Assessing Division will accept Poverty Tax Exemption (PTE) applications through December 20th, beyond the original deadline of December 9th. The City Assessing Division experienced long lines on December 9th; although the City opened additional counters to help meet demand, the Assessor wanted to ensure that these Detroiters could be served. With such demand from Detroiters, the City will accept applications through December 20th to provide help to those seeking financial assistance.

The City is committed to serving all of its citizens and complying with the mandated December 31 deadline to have an Assessment Roll prepared. To achieve this, the city Assessor has informed the Chief Financial Officer and the chair of the Board of Review that he will provide an amended certification after December 10th. The Office of the Assessor will continue putting an Assessment Roll together through December 20th, and urges all citizen to take advantage of this opportunity to turn in PTE applications.

"We experienced a great response from residents seeking financial assistance on their property taxes. It's important that we provide Detroiters with resources in a timely and efficient manner," said Deputy Chief Financial Officer/Assessor Alvin Horhn. "Continuing to accept applications to December 20th will allow people more time to apply for the support they need to stay in their homes."

Depending on the household income, a homeowner can receive either a 50% or 100% exemption on their property taxes for each year they are eligible and apply. Having PTE also is a requirement under the proposed "Pay as You Stay" program city and county officials announced recently and is making its way through the State Legislature. If approved by the Legislature and the Governor, the program would eliminate all penalties and interest on back taxes for income-eligible residents and significantly reduce their monthly payment to get current on their tax bills.

Officials expect to approve the largest number ever of PTEs this year - well over 6,000 - however thousands more are likely eligible. Over the past two years, the City has increased its efforts to notify eligible residents of the PTE. In 2014, for example, the city approved 3,800 PTEs and the numbers have increased annually since then.PTEs are granted only for the current tax year and can provide either a 50% or a 100% exemption from paying 2019 property taxes based on the following guidelines:

Number of people
in Household
Maximum Income for
Full (100%) Exemption
Maximum Income for
Partial (50%) Exemption

How to Apply for a Poverty Tax Exemption: The City will be accepting applications for the PTE through Friday, December 20. Applications are available online at this link. Applications also may be requested to be sent by mail by calling (313) 224-3035 or by sending an email to

PTE is part of an overall effort to keep Detroiters in their homes

Working closely with the Wayne County Treasurer, United Community Housing Coalition, the Quicken Loans Community Fund and others, the city has helped to significantly reduce tax foreclosures of occupied homes by more than 90% in the past five years. This has been a multi-layered approach:

  • Led the effort in 2014 to pass HB 4882 to allow delinquent taxpayers to enter into payment plans and avoid foreclosure. 15,000 homeowners signed up in the first year alone.
  • Completed the first citywide residential property reassessment since the 1950s to ensure home assessments are fair and reflect market values. The vast majority of Detroit homeowners saw their property assessments - and property tax bills - drop as a result.
  • Launched the Make It Home/Right Of Refusal program with the United Community Housing Coalition and Quicken Loans, which allows tenants in non-owner occupied properties to buy back homes at risk of foreclosure for $1,000. Since 2017, 1,142 properties have been removed from the foreclosure auction through this program.
  • Supported Neighbor to Neighbor door-to-door canvassing to every household in Detroit at risk of foreclosure, with the city's Department of Neighborhoods and AmeriCorps VISTA teams recruiting volunteers.

Expanded efforts to get eligible Detroiters to apply for the Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program to receive a poverty tax exemption (PTE), which would eliminate or cut in half their property tax bill.