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Duggan: Detroit homeowners will see relief on property assessments

Jan 28, 2015

Around 62,000 Detroit properties face tax foreclosure this year. Mayor Duggan says these assessment changes should help stem that tide in the future.
Credit The Tricycle Collective / via Facebook

Most Detroit households should see some relief on their property assessments this year.

Mayor Mike Duggan’s office says about three-quarters of households should see their assessments knocked down 10-20%. Outside of 25 “stable neighborhoods” where the city believes property values are truly on the rise, all city homeowners should see some kind of relief.

Detroit homeowners have complained for years about inflated assessments that drive up property taxes to unaffordable levels.

“For far too long, residents of this city have been over-assessed,” said Detroit City Council member Mary Sheffield. “And it’s time that we addressed the issue. If we’re going to attract people, we also need to focus on retaining residents that have been here long-term.”

Detroit is in the midst of a complete city-wide reassessments on all properties, the first in 50 years. But it won’t be completed until late 2016.

Duggan believes there’s evidence the city will actually collect more property tax revenue as a result of the cuts. He said that’s what seems to have happened after many assessments were cut last year.

“We believe that if you assess people honestly, people will pay their bills,” Duggan said. “Our property tax revenues are coming in well above projections.”

Dugan admits this won’t do anything to help the 62,000 Detroit properties facing tax foreclosure this year. “But the really good news is, we think we are going to significantly reduce the number of people who can’t pay their tax bills going forward,” he said.