Gov. Whitmer signs landmark Pay as You Stay legislation pushed by Mayor Duggan to help tax delinquent Detroiters stay in their homes

  • Mayor urges Detroit residents with delinquent property taxes to apply today for Homeowner Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) to be eligible for PAYS
  • Applications received by March 28 and approved will stop the foreclosure process
  • For eligible tax-delinquent low income Detroiters, all past penalties, fees and interest will be waived, significantly reducing monthly payments


Today, Mayor Duggan joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and other state and local leaders in the signing of the Pay as You Stay (PAYS) bill, a legislation that will assist tens of thousands of Detroiters with delinquent taxes by eliminating fees and interest and allowing homeowners to enter into an affordable payment plan to avoid foreclosure.

The PAYS legislation is the result of the leadership of Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit), who introduced the legislation, along with the collective backing of leaders across Wayne County government, Detroit City Council and other state leaders who supported a program that would help provide financial relief to residents struggling with current and delinquent taxes.

"Gov. Whitmer signing Pay as You Stay into law is the culmination of years of efforts by a whole coalition of partners that already have reduced tax foreclosures in Detroit by 94% over the past five years,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “The most important thing homeowners can do today if they are subject to penalties and interest on delinquent taxes is to apply for a property tax exemption to become eligible for Pay as You Stay. If their application is approved, they’ll be eligible for a significant reduction in their monthly payments.”


Getting into the PAYS two-step process
Low-income Detroiters who live in the home they own should apply today for a property tax exemption through the Homeowner Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP). A current exemption is a required to be eligible for PAYS.  HPTAP applications can be found online at the city’s website at and clicking on the Help with Property Taxes link. 

The Wayne County Treasurer will stop the foreclosure process for anyone with a current property tax exemption or who applies by March 28 and has their application approved. For example, a family of four earning about $32,000 per year or less, or an individual earning $22,000 or less are eligible for a 25%, 50% or 100% property tax exemption, depending on their exact income.

  • Starting April 15th, the Wayne County Treasurer will begin contacting eligible homeowners to get them enrolled into Pay as You Stay. Once enrolled in PAYS, homeowners will see a major reduction in their monthly payment plans to pay off their tax delinquencies. Many eligible homeowners will see their monthly payments go down from about $150 to about $25.

“Pay As You Stay will help homeowners across the state struggling with delinquent taxes stay in their homes,” said Governor Whitmer. “Everyone deserves a path to own a home, and this program will help more than 30,000 Detroiters and Wayne County residents avoid foreclosure. I applaud Representative Byrd, County Executive Warren Evans, Mayor Duggan and all of our partners for their leadership in getting this done for all Michiganders.”


How will PAYS work?
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. Residents 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.

Example #1

  • Resident Income: $814/month
  • Current Taxable Value: $10,400
  • Current Tax Debt: $11,700
  • PAYS Plan: $29/month for three years

Example #2

  • Resident Income: Poverty Tax Exemption Qualified
  • Current Taxable Value: $4,971
  • Current Tax Debt: $990
  • PAYS Plan: $10/month for three years


How to access the program
Residents with delinquent property taxes will have to enroll into the City’s Homeowner’s Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) to be eligible for PAYS.

  1. Apply for HPTAP on the city’s website - Applications & Income eligibility are available here
  2. Homeowners who apply and are approved for a Property Tax Exemption and enroll in future years may be eligible for the program.
  3. 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 15, 2020. Please Note: you can also contact Wayne County at 313-224-5990 to check on your eligibility status.


The City is urging anyone in need of financial assistance on their current or delinquent property taxes to apply for HPTAP before March 28, 2020. Eligible residents who apply before March 28th can receive an exemption on their summer tax bill. Exemptions are granted at three levels; full (100%), partial (50%), or 25%. Property tax exemptions are based off of income level and family size.



Chart of HPTAP threshold qualifications


Media Contact

John Roach
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