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One of the questions we get quite often as a REALTOR is, "What is the Principal Residence Exemption and how does it work?" The Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) came about in Michigan in 1994 with voter approval of Proposition "A". The PRE was one part of the PA 237 that was designed to relieve the property tax pressure that was occurring because of rapidly increasing property values, and to level the funding available to school systems in disparate economic areas of the state.
If you are a Michigan Resident, have filed a valid PRE Affidavit, meaning you own and occupy the property as your principal residence, you are eligible for a 100% PRE. This means a reduction of 18 mils from whatever the local millage rate is. Keep in mind that each municipality has it's own millage rate based on voter approval. In some municipalities, this can reduce your taxes in the area of 30%. There are a lot of nuances to the Principal Tax Exemption involving such things as owner occupied duplexes (partial owner occupation). Here is a link to a publication published by the State of Michigan called Guildlines for the Michigan Principal Residence Exemption Program. This publication in the form of FAQs covers most possible situations.
Currently a Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit (Form 2368) must be filed with the Assessors Office prior to May 1 of the current tax year to be eligible for the exemption in that year. However, there is legislation being considered that would change this. Below is a summary taken from the State of Michigan website as to what the changes may be.
CONTENT The bill would amend the General Property Tax Act to do the following:
-- Change the deadline for a property owner to file an affidavit claiming the principal residence exemption, and add a second deadline. -- Allow a land contract vendor, bank, credit union, or other lending institution to retain the principal residence exemption on foreclosed property. -- Require a lending institution that retained the exemption to pay what it otherwise would have paid in school operating taxes, for deposit into the School Aid Fund; and to pay an administrative fee, which the local tax collecting unit would retain.
This will be a welcome change, but not what I think it should be, which is immediate change (at closing) to whatever the buyer is qualified for. The taxing authority should have the right to uncap the TAXABLE VALUE at closing time, and they should adjust the PRE at the same time. This is what was included in this legislation when it was introduced but has been changed through committee.
In any case, make sure that your closing company is sending in the PRE Affidavit for you when you close, and make sure to check with your taxing authority a couple of months later to see if they have it. When that new assessment comes in the mail next February, double check it to make sure your PRE is correct. Hopefully 100%. It'll make a difference of $18.00 for every $1,000.00 of your TAXABLE VALUE. Another important part of this legislation is the creation of the TAXABLE VALUE which I'll discuss in another blog.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.