Principal Residence Exemption (PRE)

Michigan’s Principal Residence Exemption is for people who own and occupy their homes as their principal residence. Second homes or vacation homes are not eligible. This exemption relieves the property owner from 18 mills ($18 per $1,000 of taxable value) for school operating taxes on the winter tax bill in the City of Escanaba. Ownership can be established by deed, land contract, inheritance, etc.

To claim, you must file the proper form with the assessor’s office after making the property your primary residence: place the property in your name, register to vote, change your driver’s license or state ID, and actually live there on or before May 1st (prior to 2012). A new law (PA 115 of 2012) was passed as of May 1, 2012 changing the deadline to June 1st for Summer Tax Levy. This new law also added a second deadline of November 1st for the Winter tax levy. In the City of Escanaba the entire 18 mills are collected on the Winter bill essentially giving the property owner from January 1st to November 1st to claim the property as their Primary Residence.
Principal Residence Form

If you own commercial property that also includes your residence, or if you rent part of your home to someone else, you may qualify for a partial exemption. Although you may have received and completed this form at closing if you recently purchased your home, you should verify the status of this exemption when you receive your tax bills. The information is shown by the percent of exemption allowed.

If you sell your home or change its use to something other than your primary residence, you must rescind the exemption. Failure to do so could cause complications if you file an exemption affidavit for another home in the State of Michigan and force you to pay back taxes and interest plus penalties.

You may also file a conditional recission form if you buy a home in Michigan and make that your new PRE and have listed your prior Michigan home for sale. You cannot rent out your home to qualify for this.
Conditional Recission Form

Forms to apply for or to rescind the homestead exemption are available on this web site under “Forms” or at the assessor’s office, where you can receive help and answers to questions about this complicated, but valuable, exemption. Call the assessors office at (906) 786-9402 for information week days between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm ET or by e-mail at

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