47% of Detroit Property Owners Don’t Pay Taxes, City Near Bankruptcy

There’s lots of bad news for Detroit. Forbes rated Detroit as the #1 Miserable City in America. Also it’s on the verge of bankruptcy and may be facing a state financial takeover.

Governor Snyder has declared that Detroit is in a “State of Financial Emergency” Detroit has a huge budget deficit and tons of debt and  is issuing worthless bonds to borrow money. (If this reminds you of how the country is now being run, that’s not a coincidence.)

So why is Detroit such a disaster? Let’s start with the mismanagement. The Detroit Police Department misstated its number of employees by 20 percent.

Detroit is owed hundreds of millions of dollars, but no one can seem to figure out how to collect it. The 36th District Court collection rate is at %7.7. This is really, really bad. The Chief Judge is complaining that his budget isn’t big enough and is proposing to sue the city over it. Good luck collecting it.

Oh and 47 percent of Detroit property owners aren’t actually paying their taxes.

The News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found that 47  percent of the city’s taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills. 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.

Delinquency is so pervasive that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes  last year.

Detroit relies on a shrinking sliver of businesses and neighborhoods  to pay the bulk of the bills. The three casinos, General Motors Corp., DTE  Energy, Chrysler Group LLC and Marathon Petroleum Corp. paid 19 percent of  collected property taxes. Five city neighborhoods, most of them downtown and  along the river, paid 15 percent of the city’s taxes and represent only 2  percent of the city’s total parcels. In all, only 41 percent of the city’s  parcels produced tax revenues last year because of delinquencies and a large  number of tax-exempt land.

You can see why General Motors had to be bailed out. If it hadn’t been, Detroit would be in even worse shape.

“Why pay taxes?” asked Fred Phillips, who owes more than $2,600 on his home  on an east-side block where five owners paid 2011 taxes. “Why should I send them  taxes when they aren’t supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see  the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came.”

This is what living in a failed state looks like. A state takeover by Gov. Snyder may have a shot at fixing this mess. But Mayor Bing is still overlooking the obvious solution.

  • John Spielman

    Detroit needs to declare bankrupcy; fire all it's city workers, the rehire only those absolutely necessary for minimum existence such as fire police sewer water. It must not pay he pension shortfall and all new workers get no pension and are responsible for their own contribution to an IRA etc. by paying them what the city would have contributed to a pension.

    • Treadway51

      This city is saving Hollywood $Millions$. Can't wait to see "Escape From Detroit" at a theater near me!! Aren't those Democrats just great???

  • IS770

    Mogadishu, USA!

  • Mary Sue

    all the decent people who could afford to get out, already have done so. Those that couldn't afford to get out are screwed :(

    • Alex

      Oh boo whoo lets cry about the ones that couldn't get out :( what a sad sad world. You know most of the people who have actually gotten out paid their taxes and tried to actually work in Detroit and try to earn a living. The ones that are still are still in Detroit are the ones who haven't paid taxes and are still wanting a welfare check from the government so boo whoo to them!

  • JacksonPearson

    Detroit has devolved to third world status, U.S.A.. Perhaps Obama will bail them out, then own them like Government Motors. It's the new American way. /Sarc

  • Parenthetical Phrase

    I wasn't even aware that Detroit still existed. I thought it was a ghost town with a lot of empty trashed out crack houses filled with used hypodermic needles, rats, wild dogs and people from the underworld. I don't think there is even a supermarket in the entire city. By the way, Detroit at one time had a per capita income that was the highest in the nation.

    • UCSPanther

      All Detroit needs is some mutant creatures, then it will be like a true fictional post apocalyptic city,

  • Jeff Bargholz

    Once detroit implodes, most of the people who destroyed it will move on to greener pastures like locusts. The Michigan and federal governments will be tasked with providing largesse for those who stay.

    Human locusts are attracted to successful communities and once they take up residence they begin to feed. The only thing that deters them is expensive housing, so any city with affordable housing can end up with hellish neighborhoods, and any city with a majority of affordable neighborhoods can become the next Detroit.

    Think it cant happen? Think again. Detroit used to be a nice, working class city with some affluent neighborhoods.

    It goes without saying that anybody who dares to admit this has a swastika tattooed on their forehead and a white hood in their closet. (I didn't say it. I wrote it.)

    • UCSPanther

      Unfortunately, you may be right. It is already happening to Chicago.

      • figment newton

        Camden NJ– building a wonderful aquarium that no one will drive to, as they might be carjacked and killed in the surrounding neighborhood didn't help.

        Harrisburg PA– liberal ruling class bankrupted with an incinerator plant that no one is willing to audit fully, the streets are full of sinkholes – about 40 including one that swallowed a trash truck AND the crane that was being used to remove the trash truck. Mayor blames it on ancient sewer system. Wonder where 100 yrs of property tax and sewer payments went?

        Baltimore, MD – riots, looting, robbery over winning the super bowl. Hate to think what would happen if they had lost.

        All in common: liberal monarchy.

    • KTH

      Part I
      Jeff, unfortunately many, many upscale communities are forced by the federal courts to build low-quality townhome or garden-style apartment homes which are then handed to undeserving minorities which begin the blight of these communities and lead to what you describe above. This is called "reversing housing discrimination"…lol! It's really social engineering, but I digress.
      This nation has long since put the majority of its racist past behind them (referring to White racism) ; I could care less what the color or nationality of my neighbor is, as long as he could afford the home and keeps it and his property in the best condition that he can.
      In Westchester County, NY there was forced "integration" in the '80's and '90's (perhaps still today) – meaning someone undeservedly got a home in an area where they could not normally afford to live. This was all over the county. (It's called Socialism)! In one of the cities, the municipal housing authority supplied these citizens with lawn mowers (the properties were 50'x20', if THAT big – you could cut the lawn with scissors and be done in less than an hour).

      • Jeff Bargholz


        I seem to recal a certain housing market crash with similar origins…….

  • joe

    If you have free time check out the US ghetto videos on youtube like – Detroit ,E.St.Louis,St.Louis,NJ,CA – they look like post apocalyptical nightmares.
    The people may flee but they take with them the mindset that created these dead cities and you can follow the trail of neglect and destruction everywhere they go.