City announces three major updates to assist Detroit homeowners in need of help with their property taxes
- The City and Wayne County’s Treasurers Office have agreed to extend the Pay as You Stay (PAYS) one-time lump sum payment deadline for the first group of eligible PAYS residents from July 15th to September 15th
- Residents seeking assistance on their property taxes can now apply online at detroitmi.gov/hptap through a safe and secure Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) application
- 14 nonprofits to remotely assist Detroit residents in completing online & paper HPTAP applications
Today, the City announced three major updates to assist eligible homeowners seeking assistance with their current and delinquent property taxes, a new online application for residents to apply for their HPTAP, an extension for the PAYS program one-time lump sum, and assistance from nonprofit community partnership in assisting residents filling out their applications.
Pay as You Stay (PAYS) Program Extension
The City’s Pay as You Stay (PAYS) Program launched on April 15th to assist eligible Detroit homeowners with delinquent property taxes in keeping their home and avoiding foreclosure. To allow more residents the time to take advantage of the 10% discount included in the one-time lump sum payment option, the City and County have agreed to extend the deadline for the first group of eligible PAYS residents from July 15th to September 15th.
PAYS eliminates penalties, taxes, and fees associated with delinquent taxes, and allow residents to enter into an affordable payment plan to manage delinquent taxes and keep their home. To become eligible for PAYS residents must apply for the City’s Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program(HPTAP) and be approved. Eligible homeowners will then receive a letter from the Wayne County Treasurer’s office to enroll into the PAYS program.
Even with COVID-19 shutdown, Wayne County Treasurer’s Office, in collaboration with the City of Detroit and community partners, enrolled over 2,450 City of Detroit residents in PAYS since April, over 50% of those residents who were PAYS eligible during the program launch.
While this was an accomplishment, the City, County and community partners are concerned that it was difficult for eligible homeowners to know how to apply for the programs during the Stay at Home order. The newly extended one-time lump sum payment deadline will allow residents to take advantage of the 10% discount, and reach more eligible residents in need of assistance with their current and delinquent property taxes. Residents can also enroll into a monthly payment plan as part of PAYS if they do not select the one-time lump sum enrollment options.
Residents seeking to learn more about eligibility requirements and enrollment can visit:
Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) Online Applications
Starting today, the City of Detroit now offers a secure and safe online HPTAP application to make it easier for Detroiters to apply during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Residents can apply online at: [www.detroitmi.gov/hptap]www.detroitmi.gov/hptap. Prior to COVID-19, residents seeking assistance on their current property taxes had to complete a paper application in-person or by mail.
Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the City has seen a reduction in the number of HPTAP applications submitted and approved. Through July 1, 2020, the City has received 3,811 HPTAP applications and approved 2,954, while last year the City had received 4,311 HPTAP applications and approved 4,007 applications through July 1, 2019. Through the end of June, 4,622 residents have been granted HPTAP for 2019 and 2020 and have delinquent taxes, making them eligible for PAYS.
Now more than ever, The City knows residents need additional assistance. With the launch of the online application, the City is making it easier to access this assistance available to residents without having to leave the house. Additionally, the City is increasing outreach initiatives to reach all HPTAP eligible homeowners. To date, the City has mailed letters to 188,000 parcels within the City to all eligible HPTAP homeowners encouraging residents to receive property tax assistance to become eligible for PAYS.
HPTAP grants eligible Detroit homeowners property tax exemptions based upon an individual’s family size, income levels, or other extenuating circumstances as decided by the Detroit Board of Review.
Property tax exemptions are now granted in three levels based on family income:
- Full, 100% exemption
- Partial, 50% exemption
- Partial, 25% exemption
In addition to the annual exemption, residents with delinquent taxes that are granted an HPTAP exemption are eligible for the PAYS program. Through the end of June, 4,622 residents have been granted HPTAP for 2019 and 2020 and have delinquent taxes, making them eligible for PAYS.
Residents seeking assistance on their current property taxes can apply with the newly online application by visiting: https://detroitmi.gov/hptap.
Additional HPTAP Assistance Available
Quicken Loans Community Fund has partnered with the City to provide 14 non-profit partners available to provide assistance to residents for both the e-HPTAP or the paper HPTAP applications, to ensure applications are completed properly with the necessary documentation.
Some non-profits are doing limited in-person services, some are picking up documents from residents and bringing them back, and some are virtual only. Residents seeking assistance can call the non-profit closest to them to see how they can assist during this time.
Background about PAYS Program
“Pay As You Stay” is a simple, three-part plan for HPTAP approved homeowners with unpaid delinquent taxes that reduces the burden of those taxes.
- For certain qualified residents, *The balance due of unpaid delinquent taxes will be limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value – whichever is less.
*The outstanding delinquent taxes must be greater than 10% of the taxable value of your home.
- The remaining balance could be paid back over a period of up to three years at zero percent interest and all interest, penalties and fees will be canceled at the completion of the payment plan. Homeowners who pay off the reduced balance immediately, will be eligible for an additional reduction in delinquent taxes.
- For approved residents without a reduced balance, all interest, penalties and fees will be canceled immediately.
To access the program there's two steps:
- Apply for the City's HPTAP: Homeowners who qualify for a Property Tax Exemption with delinquent taxes and apply in future years may be eligible for the program.
- Once you’re enrolled into HPTAP and have been approved by City of Detroit Board of Review, eligible residents for PAYS will receive a letter from the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office after April 1, 2020 with next steps to enroll into PAYS. There is no further action needed at this time until you receive next steps from The Wayne County Treasurer's Department.
Background about the HPTAP Program
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.
For example, a family of two earning $22,754 or less for example, is eligible for a 50% exemption, while a family of two earning $20,246 or less is eligible for a 100% tax exemption, meaning they pay no property taxes each year they are eligible. Earlier this year, The City launched a new exemption level of 25% to reach even more eligible residents seeking assistance to avoid foreclosure. Under this expanded program a family of two earning $25,703 or a family of four earning $31,930 would be eligible for a 25% reduction in their property taxes.