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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Detroit/Wayne County Property Taxes for 2016 - Plan Now to Save Later

By Richard C. Clement 

    Many Detroit Residents received certified letters from the Wayne County Treasurer in December of 2015 regarding their property taxes.  This letter is giving you fair warning that your will lose your home if you don’t pay the amount stated.  If you have contacted the Wayne County Treasurer and have a payment agreement then you are fine. If you own property in Detroit then you have an opportunity to redress your grievance about your property tax if you feel that the amount is not right.

     You have three opportunities to save your home, and lower your property taxes. December and January are the months to make the plan to appeal your assessment. On the first 15 days of February, the Board of Assessors allows a homeowner to apply to appeal their assessed tax amount. (ClickHere) for the details to appeal a City of Detroit Tax Assessment. To be successful at a hearing, you must do the following:
  1. Get a current appraisal of your home/property
  2. Keep up with your payment paperwork like receipts for payment and other maintenance work
  3. Find 3 homes that are comparable in size to your home and the selling price. If the homes sold for less than yours is appraised, then your taxes will be lowered.
  4. File an appeal before Feb 15th with the City of Detroit
  5. Get a hearing date from the assessor’s office
  6. A decision is rendered by the Board of Assessors
  7. If you are satisfied then you are done with it and the process ends here.
  8. If you are not satisfied with the decision you can appeal to the Board of Review in writing on or before the second Monday in March which is March 14,2016 to get an appointment.
  9. If you are not satisfied with the Board of Review's decision, then to protect your property rights, you must file an appeal with the  State of MichiganTax Tribunal

   Please be aware that some cases like buying a home dirt cheap in an auction, your property taxes may go up. Property taxes are driven from values in property surrounding your home in the neighborhood. Otherwise, there were many smiles from homeowners who left the 8th floor of the Coleman Young Municipal Center because of their savings.

     The second and third opportunities involve the certified letter from the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office.  When you turn the letter over to the back, you have two opportunities to save your home and, dispute the amount owed. The show cause hearing will give a home owner a right to dispute the amount owed or make arrangements to pay the balance. If you lose your appeal in this hearing, the next one is the notice of foreclosure hearing that will lay the groundwork for total loss of the home by March 31st, 2016.

     However, if you make contact with someone right now, it will never get to this desperate situation of losing a home and becoming homeless. If you need help paying your property taxes (click here) for detailed information on what can be done.

For housing assistance these are some contact agencies that can help:

Wayne County Department of Human Services – DHS (formerly Family Independence Agency) can be contacted at (313) 456-1000. This is a general number from which you can obtain the phone number and address of your local DHS office. You can also simply go to your local office and apply for State Emergency Relief (SER). Offices are located throughout Wayne County.

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund, Wayne County Office, (313) 899-1162. If you are a veteran with at least 6 months of wartime duty, you may qualify for financial assistance.

Wayne County Veteran Affairs (Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund), (313) 224-1862. If you are a veteran with any wartime service and an honorable discharge, you may qualify.

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) – (313) 842-7010, Help is available to those who qualify and is not limited to those of Arabic ethnicity.

City of Detroit Human Services Department, Central Operations Division – (313) 852-5634. (Detroit Homeowners only.)

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