Bloomfield Township updates poverty guidelines
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township assessor Darrin Kraatz presented updates to the township's 2022 Poverty Exemption and Policy Guidelines, which can offer residents financial assistance if they require it, at the board of trustees meeting on Monday, June 13, and trustees unanimously approved the updates.
Kraatz said it had been two years since he had last been before the trustees with updated guidelines and exemptions, and he noted they have provided more relevant updates, including removing the homestead property tax credit to no longer require showing an income.
“The township has always strived to serve its residents in the best way possible, and offering financial assistance when needed is one way we can help. If you feel like you qualify for the property tax hardship exemption, the waiver of solid waste (refuse) application or the minor home improvement community development block grants, please take the time to review the updated guidelines and apply for the programs you would qualify for,” the new policy states.
Poverty exemptions are intended to assist those who are in temporary financial straits but not as a permanent or continuous subsidy, Kraatz explained.
Among the changes made, he said, is the asset threshold. There is now a combined value of assets of $25,000 for a single person in a residence, or $35,000 for two or more, that will be considered available for the payment of taxes. Assets include, but are not limited to, real estates besides a principal residence; personal property; vehicles beyond the first vehicle; recreational vehicles; certificates of deposit; savings and checking accounts; stocks, bonds, life insurance and retirement funds.
To qualify, all prior property taxes must be paid, or a payment plan must be worked out with the Oakland County Treasurer.
“We don't want them falling two or three years behind,” Kraatz explained.