Saturday, February 23, 2013

Detroit's No-Tax Property Tax

As I have been fond of reciting, Detroit's city government is so inept and thus so powerless that it can accomplish almost nothing outside of the scope of employing and paying its inept and entitled employees. The city can't even collect $130M owed to it in property taxes, even while it is on the verge of immediate financial insolvency. According to this story, almost half of Detroit city property owners did not pay up last year. Many of the non-paying residents are refusing to pay because they no longer receive city services that their taxes are supposed to be financing.
“Nearly half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating a punishing cycle of declining revenues and diminished services for a city in a financial crisis,” the report notes, citing more than 200,000 pages of tax documents. 
“Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected, about half of which was due Detroit and the rest to other entities, including Wayne County, Detroit Public Schools and the library,” the report adds. 
In fact, according to The News, delinquency in the shattered city is so bad that that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes in 2012.
The county government is so overwhelmed by foreclosures that it is "looking the other way" on property seizures. An inept, powerless government is one step closer to no government. Thanks to Jackie Brentwood for the story. Follow me on Twitter @karendecoster.


  1. Property taxes have been exorbitant for decades, and with the economic collapse, they're an outright insane farce. What are they going to do with properties they seize for unpaid taxes? Kick out the residents and hope it sells? At least the residents are keeping some of the businesses afloat, all of which will go if the residents do. Raising taxes, fees, parking tickets and every taxing scheme under the sun has been a big part of what has destroyed Detroit, and it is destroying Michigan, and it will destroy the rest of the country. All those delinquencies should be forgiven outright, and then properties reassessed at a REALISTIC value, or else even the few who remain here will go and your Detroit Lives logo will no longer apply. A city can't survive if it eats its citizens alive.

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