Poverty Exemption

Poverty Exemption

If a person’s financial situation prevents them from being able to pay the property taxes on his/her home there may be a way to reduce the amount of property taxes the taxpayer must contribute.

MCL 211.7u of the General Property Tax Act, MCL 211.1 et seq., allows a property tax exemption for the principal residence of persons who, in the judgment of the board of review, by reason of poverty, are unable to contribute to the public charges.


To be eligible for the poverty exemption, a person must:

  • Own and occupy the principal residence for which the exemption is requested
  • File a claim (each year the exemption is sought) with the assessor or board of review on the city’s form, along with federal and state income tax returns for all persons residing in the principal residence or file an affidavit for all persons residing in the residence who were not required to file federal or state income tax returns for the current or preceding tax year
  • Show proof of ownership
  • Meet federal poverty income standards annually determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and adopted by the City of Sault Ste. Marie

Board of Review

The Board of Review in the City of Sault Ste. Marie consists of five (5) residents appointed by the City Commission. The Board of Review meets on statutory dates in March, July, and December. The board is empowered to consider appeals related to specific areas such as poverty exemptions.


The necessary forms to apply for a poverty exemption can be obtained at the Assessor’s Office in the Sault Ste. Marie City Hall or by opening the following documents.

Applications & Forms

  1. 2024 Poverty Guidelines
  2. Form 5737 Application for Poverty Exemption
  3. Form 4988 Poverty Exemption Affidavit
  4. Form 5739 Affirmation of Ownership and Occupancy
  5. Poverty Exemption Taxpayer Fact Sheet