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Detroit Program Would Offer Property Tax Relief to Low-Income Homeowners
"A new program backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree could offer significant relief to impoverished Detroiters who owe back taxes," reports Nancy Kaffer.
The Pay As You Stay program would reduce back taxes for homeowners who qualify for a state-mandated poverty exemption. "[The program] would wipe out fees and interest associated with the back-tax debt for qualifying homeowners, and cap the amount of taxes owed at 10% of the home's taxable value, about half the home's market value," says Kaffer.
She notes that foreclosures have hit Detroit hard in recent years. In addition, about 90 percent of homeowners owing back taxes should have qualified for poverty exemptions. Under the Pay As You Stay program, the exemption will not be applied retroactively, but city officials hope the prospect of lower tax bills will encourage people to apply for the exemption in the future. The plan proposal will now move on to the state legislature.