Township offers hardship assistance, guidance
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township has streamlined its financial assistance for residents in need, providing a new application process, treasurer Brian Kepes and assessor Darrin Kraatz informed the board at their meeting on Monday, February 22.
“Last year, treasurer Kepes and I, along with Christine (Tvaroha, senior services director), tried to update the assistance we offer to people,” Kraatz said. “We had people running all over the township with income tax returns. It was a disaster. Treasurer Kepes and I tried to streamline the process. Over time, we've revamped it and made some changes to meet the COVID times we're in and to help people out if we can.”
The township is offering financial assistance to those qualified for property tax hardship exemption, waiver of solid waste (refuse), or minor home improvement community development block grants.
The poverty exemptions are intended to assist those who are in temporary financial straits and are not intended as a permanent or continuous subsidy.
“It's designed to help people for a year, not for year after year after year,” Kraatz explained.
Kraatz explained that due to a new state act, Public Act 253 of 2020, tax amounts are subject to and limited by the percent reductions to taxable value authorized in the act.
Applications are reviewed by the board of review, which meets three times a year. Applications are available at the township or on the township's website. All filings are confidential.
Trustees voted 6-0 to accept the application process, with trustee Michael Schostak not in attendance.