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Social media being used to spread false tax rumors

It seems that every day more news arrives on how social media has been misused, often for nefarious purposes. What follows here is yet another example of this misuse.

Michigan Treasury Department officials and local assessors report a surge in inquiries from residents who have read on social media that taxpayers will experience an increase in property taxes due to their PRE expiring after 25 years.

Principal Residence Exemption — known as a PRE — does not expire, state officials advise.

To qualify for a PRE, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence, the Michigan Treasury Department website states. The PRE is a separate program from the Homestead Property Tax Credit, which is filed annually on Michigan individual income tax return. A PRE exempts a residence from the tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes up to 18 mills.

“Simply put, there isn’t an expiration date on a Principal Residence Exemption,” acting Deputy State Treasurer Anne Wohlfert, who oversees Treasury’s State and Local Finance programs, said in a treasury department press release. “Homeowners who have claimed a Principal Residence Exemption do not have to refile the required form unless they move.

So, if you see anything other than this, on social media or elsewhere, it isn’t true. Want more information? Go online to the Michigan Treasury Department web site www.michigan.gov/propertytax.

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