City of Saginaw MI -
Hardship Property Tax Reduction

Guidelines for applicants requesting poverty exemptions
(Adopted by City Council March 10, 2008)

BY LAW, ALL BOARD OF REVIEW MEETINGS AND INFORMATION DISCUSSED ARE SUBJECT TO THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT. EVIDENCE GIVEN TO THE BOARD OF REVIEW OR THE ASSESSOR IS SUBJECT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. INFORMATION MAY BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC.

The City of Saginaw Board of Review will accept and evaluate applications for a property tax reduction or exemption based on the taxpayer's inability to pay property taxes or the taxpayer's poverty according to MCLA 211.7u. This hardship reduction is only available to residents of the City of Saginaw for their homestead. The Board of Review will objectively evaluate hardship reduction applications utilizing all available information, including statements, under oath, by applicant upon appearance before the Board of Review.

  1. The taxpayer must complete an annual application for a one-year hardship reduction or exemption and submit it to the City of Saginaw Board of Review. Applications are available at the City of Saginaw Assessor's Office. If granted, exemptions are in effect for one year only.
  2. Applicants must provide federal and state income tax returns for the current year or immediately preceding year for all members of the household. In addition documentation to verify all income or assets is required which may include Social Security Statements, pay stubs, statements from Social Services and bank statements.
  3. Applicants must produce a driver's license or other acceptable identification if asked by the Board of Review. Applicants must also produce a deed, land contract or other proof of property ownership if requested.
  4. Poverty exemptions may be granted up to three times during one ownership of the property.
  5. Applicants cannot have more than $10,000 in assets to be eligible for consideration and no more cash than an amount equal to one month's gross household income. Assets do not include the homestead or an automobile. Assets do include: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance policies, coin collections, boats, ORVs, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, second homes or salable property, additional automobiles, retirement accounts, jewelry, etc.
  6. Applicant may be asked to appear in person and is subject to testimony under oath. An authorized agent may appear on the applicant's behalf. Applicants or their authorized agent may be asked to answer question related to health or financial matters.
  7. The Board of Review will evaluate each exemption based upon the guidelines as defined in this procedure. They Board of Review may deviate from the guidelines if there are substantial and compelling reasons such as extraordinary medical expenses or other unforeseen situations. The Board of Review will document any reasons for deviating from the guidelines.
  8. Applicants cannot be considered for an exemption if their total household gross income exceeds the Federal Poverty guidelines. The guidelines for 2016 exemptions are as follows:
  9. Size of Family Unit

    Poverty Guidelines

    1

    $11,770

    2

    $15,930

    3

    $20,090

    4

    $24,250

    5

    $28,410

    6

    $32,570

    7

    $36,730

    8

    $40,890

    For Each Additional Person
    $4,160
  10. All applicants, if approved by the Board of Review, shall pay taxes equal to 3.5% of their total household gross income. Applicants over 65, paraplegic, quadriplegic, hemiplegic or totally and permanently disabled as defined under Social Security Guidelines 42 USC 416, will pay taxes equal to the following percentages:
    • Total household gross income less than $6,000 - 0%
    • Total household gross income $6,001 to $7,000 - 1%
    • Total household gross income $7,001 to $8,000 - 2%
    • Total household gross income $8,001 to $9,310 - 3%
    • Total household gross income greater than $9,310 - 3.5%
  11. Applicants will be sent a written notification of the Board of Review decision. An applicant or the Assessor may appeal the Board of Review decision to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

The City of Saginaw Poverty Exemption guideline uses the following definitions:

Household Income: total income as set forth in the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit claim form designated as line 31 and entitled "household income".

Senior Citizen: a resident of the State of Michigan who is of the age designated by the Department of Treasury. Presently, the age is 65 years old.

Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Hemiplegic and Total and Permanently Disabled: a resident of the State of Michigan who has a disability as designated by the Department of Treasury.

Homestead: primary domicile of Applicant in the City of Saginaw occupied by Applicant at least six months of the year of which a valid Michigan Principal Residents Exemption is filed.

Homestead Property Tax Credit: a program authorized by State Statute and managed by the Department of Treasury to provide a credit for homestead property taxes for eligible individuals based upon age, disability, income and source of income.

Instructions and Application
Poverty Exemption Affidavit Form 4988

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