When you receive your assessment notice, please check the percentage amount listed for Principal Residence Exemption (P.R.E.), formerly known as the Homestead Exemption.

If over 51% of the structure is used as your principal residence, it should list 100% exemption. If you reside in 50% or less or have a business located in your residence, the correct percentage should be listed. For example, if 30% of the house is your principal residence and two apartments are in the other 70%; you would pay a principal residence rate on the 30% and a non-homestead rate on the 70%. If you have a home occupation that you claim space on for tax purposes, the percentage claimed as non-homestead should match the percentage claimed on your federal income tax return.

In 2012, the Michigan Legislature changed the filing deadlines to June 1st and November 1st to qualify for a Principal Residence Exemption for the current tax year. If a property has changed in either ownership or use, please contact your local assessor. An example of a change in use would be if a principal residence was converted to a rental unit, or rental changed to principal residence. If there was not a transfer, the current owner would have to fill out the paperwork. If there was a transfer, both buyer & seller has paperwork to fill out, normally done at closing. Homestead exemptions are filed with the State under the claimant's social security number, so changes must be registered. In the event of a divorce, the spouse that moves to another residence must rescind the exemption on the property. This will allow the spouse to claim a new exemption on another principal residence.

The State cross-references several databases to determine exemption eligibility. The State checks driver licenses, voter registration, income tax filing addresses, etc. There are also local checks in verifying principal residences; please keep your local assessor informed. If you receive correspondence from the State or your local assessor, do not ignore it; please call your local assessor for assistance.