Grosse Pointe Shores City Council approves newest poverty tax exemption guidelines

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 24, 2023

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GROSSE POINTE SHORES — While there may not be anyone in Grosse Pointe Shores who qualifies for it, city officials nonetheless needed to vote on state guidelines, policies and an application for a poverty exemption from property taxes.

As recommended by Shores staff and the city’s assessor, WCA Assessing, the Shores City Council during a meeting Jan. 17 voted unanimously in favor of the latest poverty tax exemption regulations.

A poverty exemption application enables a homeowner to request property tax relief from the city assessor and board of review because the taxes place an excessive hardship on the resident. To be eligible, a resident must first meet federal poverty standards. For the 2022 tax year, the federal poverty guidelines are $13,590 in annual income for a single person; $18,310 annually for two people in the same household; and $27,750 for a family of four. Applicants must make less than these amounts to qualify. The exemption, even if granted, is temporary; qualifying property owners would need to apply for it each year.

Because of changes made by the state Legislature in December 2020, the Board of Review is no longer be able to deviate from state guidelines because of special circumstances, such as medical expenses.

Maximum assets are set at federal poverty levels, meaning that each person’s total assets — aside from their income and home — cannot be more than $13,590.

The policy is updated annually, and Mayor Ted Kedzierski said the city is “mandated by the state” to approve the newest guidelines.

City Manager Stephen Poloni echoed that sentiment.

“We’re required to accept those recommendations and make them part of our policy,” Poloni told the council.

The council needed to approve the guidelines in advance of the city’s Board of Review meetings. At press time, this year’s Board of Review meetings — during which residents can dispute their property tax assessment or request a poverty exemption — were slated to take place starting at 1:30 p.m. March 13 and 9 a.m. March 20 at Shores City Hall. For the poverty tax exemption guidelines and form, visit the city’s website at