Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed House Bill 5124, aimed at helping Michigan homeowners struggling to pay property taxes stay in their homes.
The legislation known as Pay As You Stay (PAYS), which is sponsored by state Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit) provides affordable payment plans and eliminating penalties, interest and fees so homeowners can manage their property taxes.
On Monday, Whitmer signed the bill at the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency in Detroit. She was joined by Byrd, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree.
“Pay As You Stay will help homeowners across the state struggling with delinquent taxes stay in their homes,” said Whitmer. “Everyone deserves a path to own a home, and this program will help tens of thousands of 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.”
HB 5124 implements the PAYS program to allow foreclosing governmental units to significantly reduce delinquent property taxes owed by homeowners who qualify for poverty exemptions.
The program is a three-part plan, according to the governor’s office. Once enrolled, all interest, penalties and fees would be eliminated. To reduce an undue burden on homeowners, the balance due would be limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value, whichever is less. The remaining balance would be paid back over three years at 0% interest.
Homeowners who qualify for a full or partial Property Tax Exemption (PTE) and enroll in future years would be eligible for the program. To be PTE-eligible, a household with 1 person could not make more than $19,303 per year; a household with 4 people could not make more than $28,671.
Detroit residents can get more information here.