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Legislation to help senior citizens heads to the governor’s desk

The Michigan House today approved legislation on Sept. 27 that will make it easier for people living in nursing homes or assisted living to continue receiving the 18-mill principal residence tax exemption on their primary home.

Senate Bill 990, approved by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, allows homeowners who are living in nursing homes or assisted living to still qualify for a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE).

To qualify for a PRE under current law, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence.

“Michigan senior citizens who need additional care and leave their primary residence should not be penalized with a higher tax bill,” said Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township. “Seniors are already living on fixed incomes, and moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility could create more financial stress.¬† As property owners, they deserve to continue receiving this important exemption.”

Under the legislation, to keep the home’s exempt status on the tax rolls while the owner is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the owner must: continue to own the property and provide for its maintenance; not establish a new principal residence; and ensure the property is not occupied, not be for sale, and not leased or used for any business or commercial purpose.

SB 990 now goes to the governor for his consideration as a new state law.

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