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What is a Property Tax Exemption (PTE) / Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP)

The Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP), also known as the Property Tax Exemption (PTE), lowers City of Detroit property taxes for homeowners with low incomes.

The program only lowers taxes for the year you apply. You must apply yearly.

This program does not help with back taxes to the Wayne County Treasurer. But by lowering this year’s tax bill, it can make back taxes easier to pay off.

Community organizations across Detroit are holding monthly workshops where you can receive FREE help completing your PTE application. I can help you determine:

  • If you are likely eligible for a PTE
  • What documents you need to be able to apply
  • Where & when you can find help in your area completing the PTE application

A. How do I know if I’m eligible for a PTE

There are two levels of PTE: A Full Exemption and a Partial Exemption.

Full Exemption: The full exemption provides a 100% exemption from your current year’s property taxes. However you will still need to pay your $250 waste disposal fee.

Partial Exemption: The partial exemption provides a 50% exemption from your current year’s property taxes. You will also still need to pay your $250 waste disposal fee.

Eligibility for a Full or Partial Property Tax Exemption is based on your household income — that’s the total income of all adults living in the home:

HP Tap Income Table Image

Even if your household income is above these income limits, it may still be worth applying for a PTE if you have hardship caused by high expenses such as medical bills or student loan debt. The Board of Review — the city department responsible for reviewing PTE applications — may make exceptions to the income levels based on hardship in some cases.

B. What do I need in order to apply for a PTE?

The purpose of the PTE application is to show the city why you need help with your property taxes. The more information you provide, the better. The application can be overwhelming. You will need to fill it out carefully and provide copies of lots of paperwork.

Proof of Ownership

  • Deed, Land Contract, divorce settlement, or Court Order for your home
  • Current photo ID for all adults over the age of 18
  • Death certificate for any owner who is deceased

Proof of Residence

  • For all adults (18+ years) who live in the home: Current photo ID or driver’s license

For all children (5 – 17 years) who live in the home:

  • Current report card, transcript, healthcare record or government document with name and address

Tax Documents For all adults in the home who file income tax returns:

  • Copy of Federal income tax return for the last year (2018)
  • Copy of State income tax return for the last year (2018)

For the household, if applicable:

  • Property Tax Rebate
  • Home Heating Credit
  • Other Tax Credits

Proof of Income For everyone who lives in the home:

  • W-2 or paystub
  • Unemployment Benefit (1099-G)
  • Pension (W-2 or 1099R)
  • Social Security or Supplementary Income (SSI/SSA-1099) Benefit Letter
  • Rental Income
  • VA Benefits
  • FIA or DHS Award letter
  • Disability Benefit
  • Child Support or Alimony
  • Receipts or notarized statement of income from self-employment
  • Bridge Card Award Letter
  • Notarized letter from family or friend who provides you with money
  • Other: gambling winnings, insurance/court settlements, scholarships

Proof of occupancy:

  • Water Bill
  • DTE bill (front & back)

Proof of debts (only applicable if household income if over the income guidelines listed) :

  • Wayne County Treasurer Payment Plan agreement
  • Mortgage or land contract
  •  Insurance bills
  • Telephone/Cell Phone/Internet bill
  • Hospital, doctor visit or prescription bills
  • Loans or Credit Card bills
  • Child Support or Alimony
  • Other

Marital Documents — If your previous spouse is on the deed, but does not live there:

  • Divorce judgement or Separation Agreement

Where can I go for more information on the PTE and to find locations where I can get any documents I don’t have:
FromClosure Detroit:

C. Where & when can I get help completing my PTE application?

*Please let residents know that they did not have to be at the workshop during the entire time! They can drop in any time during workshop hours, and it typically takes about 45 minutes to complete the application.

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