City of Detroit Tax Adjustments Could Cost City $35-$40 Million A Year In Ill-Gotten Property Tax Revenues

Are these homes worth $65,000? The City of Detroit say they are even though they just sold for $500.
Are these homes worth $65,000? The City of Detroit say they are even though they just sold for $500.

One of things that pissed me off when Detroit Cancer Mom, Kelly Parker and I were battling to keep her home wasn’t the arrogance of Wayne County political appointees like Assistant Treasurer David Szymanski and his staff or the foul-mouthed ghetto fabulous divas at the Wayne County Register of Deeds, but the fact that Kelly’s property tax bills are based on values that appear to have been taken from a condo development on Fantasy Island rather than in the neighborhoods of Detroit.

I began writing about this in November of 2012 when all the details of the deal saving Kelly’s house were finalized.  As I have pointed out, Kelly’s tax bills were based on the purchase price of the house from 2005.  Like in Kelly’s case, many of these homeowners purchased their homes at top dollar before the crash and thanks to unscrupulous finance people these purchase prices were based on inflated appraisals.   This tax scheme has allowed the City of Detroit and Wayne County to enforce tax bills based on numbers 500% higher than they should be.  Assuming 90% of Detroit’s property owners were paying their taxes, MFI-Miami’s calculation indicates Detroit would be losing about $35-$40 million a year in receivables.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed that Wayne County and Detroit homeowners were being financially anal raped by the city and the county.  In January, Christine MacDonald at the Detroit News began running a great series of article on this.

With little discussion and with virtually no media coverage except by Christine MacDonald, the three-member Tax Commission for the state of Michigan voted unanimously to launch an investigation into claims made by both the Detroit News and MFI-Miami that the City of Detroit is overtaxing property owners by using inflated assessments.  Although the details of who will be appraising the properties are unknown, the panel did say they will hire an outside appraisal firm to survey about 500 random properties in the City of Detroit to determine if the City’s assessed values are accurate.



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