Some Common questions and Feelings


If you are getting your some or all of your homestead taxes refunded now, any tax increase you experience may be offset by the state refund.

Many senior citizens qualify for a tax break called a “homestead” tax credit.  Since the state of Michigan permits property taxes, it provides the refund.  Your claim is filed each year using a form 1040cr.  Even if you don’t have to file income taxes, you should look into filing this form!

 If you are a senior citizen currently qualified for a state issued property tax credit that isn’t capped, probably nothing.  Any increase will be refunded to you.  If you now receive the maximum refund permitted under the law you will need to refer to the estimates posted here.

More detailed information.

1.       How much will this cost?  The answer changes depending upon several things.

·        Whether or not you qualify for a state reimbursement of property taxes.

·        If one or both tax caps are lifted.

·        If administrators increase millage rates to the maximum or something less than maximum.

·        How much your property is valued at.

·        How much your income is.

All calculations that follow are based upon the maximum increases permitted if caps are lifted.  It is possible administrators will not ask for full funding.  If that were the case, these projections will be high and actual increases will be lower than what is shown below.

The total tax burden also could increase if property values were to rise quickly.  Historically, that has not been the case, but if for some reason Saginaw housing became a “hot” market (prices inflate rapidly), then taxes could go up.  The chart below may be used to estimate changes between houses of differing  values.

No tax increase:       (If you get a homestead tax credit now, you probably will not have an increase)

a.                  Let us begin with a general rule:  If property taxes on your home (technically defined as a “homestead” under Michigan laws) are more than 3.5 percent of the total annual income of the owners of the homestead, you can get a tax break. 

b.                 That is, first determine the total of all monies received each year by owners of a “homestead” and then multiply that amount by .035. Then compare that product (answer) to the total annual property taxes on the homestead.  It the amount of property taxes is larger than 3.5% of the total annual income of the owners, the owners will get a tax break.

There is a cap on household income. If the owners have a current household income greater than $82,650 they are not eligible for the tax break.  If a senior citizen has an income of less than $6,000 per year the tax break kicks in quicker.

There is also a cap on state credit.  It is limited to $1,200 per year.

Tax increase will effect you

If you have a household income of more than $82,650 or if your taxes do not exceed 3.5 percent of your household income, then you can estimate the annual increase with the following table.  Please note the caps apply to only city of Saginaw operating millage rates.  Total taxes paid by any taxpayers may go up or down in any year without the city’s rate changing at all.  The table below also includes an illustration for a property with a taxable value of $1,000.  This was done so viewers could easily convert costs if their individual property taxable values do not match any provided in the table. 

For example, if a property owner had a home with a taxable value of $14,700 they could simply multiply the increases shown in the table below at the $1,000 taxable value level by 14.7.  Thus, the maximum increase projected if the Dollar Cap were to be removed would be 14.7 x $2 or $29.40 per year.  The total anticipated tax increase if both caps were removed and city administrators levied the maximum millage rate ($10) would be $64.68 per year (14.7 times $4.40).  The source for the table is the city of  Saginaw Fact Finding Committee Report of June 17, 2002.

Market Value of your home

Taxable Value

Increase per year if dollar cap removed

Increase per year if dollar cap stays and 10 mill cap approved

Maximum increase per year if both caps removed