To be considered for a poverty exemption, the following steps must be taken:

To Qualify

1. Exemption is only on your principle residence

2. You must apply for the exemption each year

3. Your combined household income must be lower than what your local unit requires (income test) 

4. The combined value of your assets must be lower than what your local unit requires (asset test)


It is necessary for taxpayers to apply for a poverty exemption from the property taxes on their home every year with their local Assessor’s office.  Applicants must submit a completed application to the Local Assessor’s office prior to the last meeting of the Board of Review.  Exemptions may be granted at the March, July or December Board of Review meetings.

1. Form 5737 Application MCL 211.7u - Poverty Exemption

2. As part of the application, it is necessary to submit a copy of the most recent income tax return for everyone who occupies the residence. 

3. If an occupant is not required to file an income tax return, that occupant must submit a completed Poverty Exemption Affidavit form 4988

MCL 211.7u

Poverty Exemptions


Asset Test Maximum amount of value of taxpayer’s belongings that they may have to qualify for a poverty exemption.

Household Income: Total income of all people living in the taxpayer’s home.  (Does not include tenants who pay rent to live in home.)

Income Test Maximum amount of household income that taxpayer may receive to qualify for a poverty exemption.  Usually includes all forms of payments to taxpayer, even if they are not taxable.

Poverty Guidelines Amount of income that defines poverty based on the number of people living in the home.