City of Saginaw, Michigan

GUIDELINES FOR APPLICANTS REQUESTING POVERTY EXEMPTIONS
(Adopted by City Council February 8, 2021)
 

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 applicants 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. If an applicant was not required to file a federal or state income tax return for the current year or immediately preceding year, the applicant must submit an affidavit attesting to the same. 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. The Board of Review shall consider State Tax Commission Guidelines when granting a hardship exemption.
      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, bank accounts, cash/money, jewelry, etc.
      6. Applicants may be asked to appear in person and are subject to testimony under oath. An authorized agent may appear on an applicant’s behalf. Applicants or their authorized agents may be asked to answer questions related to health or financial matters.
      7. The Board of Review will evaluate each exemption based upon the guidelines as defined in this procedure, as set forth by the State Tax Commission, and as established by law. If a person meets all eligibility requirements in statute, the Board of Review must grant a full exemption equal to a 100% reduction in taxable value OR a partial exemption equal to a 25% or 50% reduction in taxable value OR any other percentage reduction in taxable value approved by the State Tax Commission.
      8. Applicants cannot be considered for an exemption if their total household gross income exceeds the Federal Poverty guidelines as updated annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines to be used for 2021 exemptions are as follows:
Size of Family Unit Poverty Guidelines
1 $12,760
2 $17,240
3 $21,720
4 $26,200
5 $30,680
6 $35,160
7 $39,640
8 $44,120
For Each Additional Person $4,480


9. 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 household resources as set forth in the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit Claim Form.

Homestead:  as defined by Michigan’s General Property Tax Act.

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.