LANSING – State Representative Jim Townsend (Royal Oak) today welcomed the Michigan House of Representative’s passage of a bill that will make the Michigan Homestead Tax Exemption on property taxes available to more homeowners in the state.

“Home ownership is a critical component of stable communities,” Townsend said. “It anchors families to the communities where they live and pumps money into local economies. Taxes paid by homeowners support local schools and police and fire departments. It is in everyone’s best interest that we do what we can to foster home ownership in our state, and making this tax credit available to more homeowners is a step in the right direction.”

Senate Bill 349 passed the House today and was approved by the Senate on March 28 and is similar to House Bill 4903, which Townsend introduced last year. It will allow homeowners to receive a property tax exemption if they purchase a home after the May 1 deadline. Currently, people who buy a home after May 1 cannot receive the homestead exemption on property taxes until Jan. 1 of the following year. The credit is determined by comparing a person’s household’s income to their property taxes.

The passage of the bill comes as the Republican-led Legislature has reduced the scope of the Homestead Exemption on state income taxes. It’s estimated that 400,000 people who once qualified for the income tax credit will no longer be eligible for it next year.

“I am working hard to restore this tax credit to working families,” Townsend said. “Encouraging home ownership is an investment in our communities.”