Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP)

If you cannot pay your taxes for financial reasons, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your current year’s property tax obligation with the Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP).

The City of Detroit announced Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) application approvals will be made on an on-going basis, eliminating the previous deadlines. The final 2020 deadline is December 14. If the HPTAP application is submitted and approved by the Detroit Board of Review by May 1, the exemption will appear on the City of Detroit’s 2020 Summer Tax Bill. If your application is approved after May 1, you will receive an adjustment tax bill from the City of Detroit Office of the Treasury which will reflect the exemption.

Effective, March 16, 2020 no homes will be foreclosed on for the remaining of 2020 because of Covid-19. Delinquent taxes still must be paid. The Wayne County Treasurer's Office (WCTO) is urging residents to make regular payments no matter how small and stay compliant with their payment plans. Interest will continue to accrue on the unpaid balance. The City is urging all residents in need of current year property tax relief to apply for the HPTAP.

What is a HPTAP?

HPTAP stands for Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program. It is also referred to as the Poverty Tax Exemption, “PTE” or Hardship Program. HPTAP provides an opportunity for homeowners to be exempt from their current year property taxes based on household income or circumstances. If approved, you will still be responsible for any fees such as the solid waste fee.

Do I qualify?

Eligibility for the HPTAP is based on whether you own and occupy your home as your primary residence and your household income or circumstances. Please review the income levels listed below. Most homeowners whose income is below the guidelines are generally approved.

If your income is above the guidelines, you may still qualify for an exemption. If your income is above the guidelines, please provide additional information about your household circumstances to allow the Board of Review to make an informed decision. Only the Board of Review may approve an application.




Number in Household Maximum Income for Full (100%) Exemption Maximum Income for Partial (50%) Exemption Maximum Income for Partial (25%) Exemption
1 $17,236.00 $19,859.00 $22,357.00
2 $20,799.00 $23,336.00 $25,703.00
3 $23.036.00 $25,596.00 $27,942.00
4 $26,780.00 $29,355.00 $31,930.00
5 $30,170.00 $32,885.00 $35,299.00
6 $34,590.00 $37,357.00 $39,799.00
7 $39,010.00 $41,741.00 $44,081.00
8 $43,430.00 $46,036.00 $48,642.00


Add $4,320.00 to the income limit for each household member above eight for a full exemption.  For a 50% partial exemption add $4,580.00 to the income limit for each household member above eight.  For a 25% partial exemption add $4,950,00 to the income for each household member above eight.

In addition, the total household assets (i.e. , other real property, boats, campers, stocks, bonds, IRA's, other assets in or out of the United States, etc.) SHALL NOT exceed $12,000.00. Verification of additional assets will be done for all parties and household members applying for property tax assistance. Information not provided by the applicant but is discovered by the Board of Review may cause your application to be denied.  If you have assets totaling more than $12,000.00, explain your special circumstances and why your application should be approved despite your assets.

What do I need to provide?
To be considered for an exemption on your property taxes, the applicant is required to submit the following to the Board of Review:

  • A completed HPTAP petition and application for the current year,
  • Registered proof of ownership (Deed, land contract, probate court order, divorce judgment etc.),
  • Any form of government ID with address and picture the homeowner and all residents over the age of 18,
  • Proof of income for ALL members of the household (this includes any minor children). Examples: W2’s, paystubs, SSI/SSD, pension FIA/DHS, child support, self-employment, signed and notarized letter from who is helping you financially, etc.    
    • If your income is higher than the guidelines, you can list appropriate debts and expenses with supporting documentation, which may be used to offset your income.
    • If your income or assets are higher than the guidelines, please explain your special circumstances and why your application should be approved.
  • 2019 Federal and State tax returns for all adults, if filed (if are not required to file a tax return, the adult must complete a Michigan Treasury Form 4988 Poverty Exemption Affidavit and IRS 4506-T and can provide W2’s, social security statements, or any other document that proves the past year’s income),
  • Proof of residency for all minors in the household (such as FIA Statement, Report Card, Transcript, minor listed on tax return, etc.)

The Board of Review reserves the right to request additional information or documents.

Applications will now be reviewed and approved at an on-going basis for all eligible HPTAP residents.  Property Tax Exemptions approved by May 1st will be reflected in resident's summer tax bill. 

Where can I find an application?

You can download the application by clicking on the link above, pick up a form at the Assessor's Office, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 2 Woodward Avenue - Suite 804, or request a form mailed to your home by  calling 313-224-3035 or emailing [email protected]


What is the deadline?

  • 2020 applications are required to be filed by December 14, 2020. -Applications will now be approved at an ongoing basis
  • Be sure to file early to make sure the Board of Review has time to look over your case
  • You must reapply each year
  • If you are granted an exemption at the March BOR, you will receive a lowered tax bill for that year.
  • If you are granted an exemption at either the July or December BOR, you will receive a full property tax bill in July. An adjusted tax bill will be mailed after the July or December BOR. If you pay your tax bill and are then granted an exemption, you will be mailed a refund for the excess payment.
  • If you are not granted an exemption, you will receive an explanation in your decision letter. This will include the process and timeline for appealing this decision if you choose to do so.


Who can help me complete my application?
For free assistance with your application and notarization for the petition call 211 or text HOME to 85274. The Assessor's Office and United Community Housing Coalition may also be able to help.


Is there any other help for my property taxes?
Even if you don’t qualify for this type of assistance, there are programs available through the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office at 400 Monroe Street to assist you in paying your delinquent taxes and there are community groups  which have been successful in assisting property owners as well. See www.waynecounty.com/elected/treasurer/taxpayer-assistance.aspx or call 313-224-5990.


Additionally, the State of Michigan offers a program called “Step Forward” which is designed to help eligible homeowners who are struggling with their property taxes. See www.stepforwardmichigan.org or call 866-946-7432.


When are my taxes due?
In the City of Detroit you will receive two (2) tax bills. The summer becomes due as of July 1st.  You must pay one half of the summer bill by August 15th or all of the summer bill by August 31st to avoid any interest or penalties.  You will receive a winter tax bill that becomes due December 1st.  The bill must be paid by January 15th in order to avoid any interest or penalties.

All households, regardless of exemptions, are responsible to pay the annual $240 solid waste disposal fee on their summer tax bill, although qualifying seniors may receive a $120 discount.

What if I miss the payment deadline? 

**Because of Covid-19, all foreclosures for 2020 will be stopped for Detroit Residents, despite their HPTAP or foreclosure status.  Residents will still incur interest during this time. 




Are there other ways I can reduce my tax obligation?


  • Property Assessment Appeal (must appeal between February 1st through February 15th)
  • Principal Residence Exemption (PRE)
  • Solid Waste Reduction (seniors 65 and older with household income of $40,000 or less)
  • NEZ-Homestead Neighborhoods
  • Disabled Veterans Exemption
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