Half of Detroit Property Owners Don’t Pay Taxes

Christine MacDonald and Mike Wilkinson, The Detroit News, February 21, 2013

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, according to a Detroit News analysis of government records.

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, The News found. Many of those who don’t pay question why they should in a city that struggles to light its streets or keep police on them.


A four-month News investigation found:

Detroit has the highest property taxes among big cities nationwide and relies on assessments that are seriously inflated. Many houses are assessed at more than 10 times their market price, according to new research from two Michigan professors.

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.

Detroit’s delinquencies are so pervasive that some owners have been allowed to keep their property even if they don’t pay taxes. Wayne County treasury officials are so overwhelmed by foreclosures that they ignored about 40,000 delinquent Detroit properties that should have been seized last year and said they will look the other way on about 36,000 this year.


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  • voiceofstl

    What can they do? Foreclose and make 150,000 homeless to streatch the citys resourses even more?

    • Sherman_McCoy

      I find it difficult to believe that if those 150,000 were white people that they would just give up and die in the streets. No, white people would find a way to make it. We always do. It’s only the Bantus that would be looking for a TX news crew so that they could mewl and whine “Hep’s me, hep’s me! Who gonna feed mah babies?”

    • Non Humans

      Well, at least in that scenario a good chunk of them would be offed by the rayciss weather.

  • MikeS

    It’s time for Detroit to be put down.

  • guest
    • The__Bobster

      It’s easier to nuke it from the ground, which is what the natives are actually doing.

    • Howard W. Campbell

      How Detroit (and large parts of urban America) will have to be dealt with when the EBT cards no longer work.


      • crystalevans

        With no EBT access, expect to see riots in the streets and looters raiding stores for whatever they can carry out.

        • purestocles

          As long as America produces an agricultural surplus, EBT is essentially no drain on the economy. On the contrary, one could argue that consuming our surplus stimulates the economy and keeps everyone working, the farmer, grocer, Teamsters, to say nothing of all the social workers etc.

          That’s why we’ll never see an end to these benefit programs. They keep the economy rolling along.

          If that offends your sense of justice and efficiency then that’s just tough beans–not me talking, but the voice of those who rule America. They really don’t care what the working-class white majority thinks or feels. They control the currency and own our debt, therefore They Rule.

          It’s simple. We all know from Psych 101 that the pigeon must first peck the red square or yellow triangle to earn its reward. When we reward people who have done nothing to earn it, they learn nothing and furthermore, have no incentive to learn. And so they remain ignorant and dysfunctional and despise us for our craven weakness.

          • Sherman_McCoy

            Quite true, but the most likely reason the EBT would stop working is because the USD would become worthless. Then, all that surplus food is going to be sold to countries with hard currencies. You are correct about the government. At first, they would move to confiscate the food to appease the mobs. That would work about as well as it did in Stalin’s Ukraine.

          • Bill

            Well, firstly, if we have so much surplus food, WHY are we now importing most of our food from Mexico and China and asian countries? Secondly, EBT is not used to buy surplus food. We sell that off shore. EBT is used by the black to buy any dang thing he wants. The reason actual food stamps were issued back when was to preclude them being used for any other purpose but FOOD. And the nappies gamed even that system by selling them on the black market for bucks, drugs, whatever.

          • purestocles

            I may be mistaken on specifics because I’m too lazy to check, but up to a few years ago, the leading exports of the United States were corn, soybeans and wheat, with airplanes coming in somewhere after that. And military hardware. Our destiny is to be the Farmers To The World. Get used to it. Manufacturing is not coming back until Mexicans have so diluted the bargaining power of Labor that pay will match that of Chinese. We are to be the Ag giants, feeding the more advanced technologically capable economies. In short, a Banana Republic. There will be a small class of technicians who will keep the (robotic) wheels spinning. The Owner/Elites will live wherever in the World they please, hopping from one of their dozen mansions to another as weather and whim dictate. They envision the rest of us as a vast undifferentiated brown pool, a sort of genetic broth or scum which they tap into at will. In order to alleviate differences which they believe lie at the root of social problems, they intend to breed us to an average, the brown paper bag thing. Ironic, isn’t it, that they push this program under the rubric of Diversity when their ultimate ambition is to breed all the differences out of us. I don’t think they are even aware of their double speak. Orwell credited them with too much self consciousness and intelligence.

          • MBlanc46

            One of the principal characteristics of an underdeveloped country is that it exports primary (agricultural and forestry) products and imports secondary (industrial) products. That’s what we’ve become.

          • Jss

            EBT isn’t used only for food. From what I understand you can use EBT for anything pretty much as long as the establishment accepts the card. That is theft. That is taking the fruits of someone else’s labor so Trayvon can get a lap dance. If that is keeping our economy going then our economy is just as immoral then a slave based economy. It will be painful but this rotten state needs to collapse. The sooner the better.

          • Yeah, the EBT, the replacement for embarrassing “food coupons” has become a dream program …..

          • IstvanIN

            EBT stands for “Electronic Benefits Transfer” card. Both SNAP (FS) benefits and welfare (TANF and General Assistance) payments are loaded onto the card. The SNAP benefits can only be used for food purchases. The welfare (cash) benefits can be used to purchase anything. EBT is just the means of distribution of assistance benefits, taking the place of physical, mailed out ATPs and checks.

          • crystalevans

            In TN, the legislators want to restrict where people can use their EBT cards. There have been uses of EBT cards in local strip clubs.

        • Sherman_McCoy

          And after the stores are empty, they’ll be looking to break into private homes.

          White people, get out of there now! Look at South Africa to see your fate! There is no excuse for putting your children in such danger!

  • Ed_NY

    No point in seizing the properties, they are worthless. No one would ever buy them at a tax auction and once the owners are evicted, squatters would occupy the property the same day. So much for BRA.

    • crystalevans

      I have heard that you can buy a house in Detroit for about the same price as a used car.

      • StillModerated

        I’ve heard $7000 payable with a credit card. But why? Some of the brick cape cods are well built, though, and hearken back to a day when Michigan workmen took pride in their craft. But ||~s can destroy quickly too.

        • GM (Australia)

          As I have posted previously, there are entrepreneurs here in Sydney trying to sell these absolutely bargain priced houses to would be investors. They show pictures of beautiful old mansions which would sell for a million plus here, they present a good business model, good tenants and low taxes, like what could go wrong?

          • Tom in MI

            I don’t know if you’ve heard, but an Australian was killed in Detroit a couple of years ago. He bought and fixed up property and rented to blacks. One day he got into an argument with a black women over the rent she owed. She called her father and he came over and shot and killed the Aussie.

            The man who did the shooting was also a millionaire lottery winner!

          • PesachPatriot

            Seriously? Any non-black millionaire would have either covered his daughters rent(which couldn’t have been more than a few grand tops), or perhaps argued a bit and gotten a lawyer to settle the matter in civil court, maybe a fistfight but not shooting ….I am sorry about the australian person being killed. When I saw the article my first thought was who would be nutty enough to own property in detroit? I think australians have the same problem as canadians…they are too nice for their own good sometimes and are often taken advantage of or become crime victims in america.

          • Joseph

            And the Aussie’s heirs surely denounced *what* in America? Not blacks typical behavior, but guns will be fingered as the problem.

            Politically correct diversity is a pandemic afflicting Australia too.

        • Strider73

          A couple of years ago I read articles stating that many homes in Detroit were listed for $1.

          And only a fool would pay that much.

          • Anything you save on the purchase of the house would be more than exceeded by your expenses for concertina wire, sand bags, punji sticks, etc.

      • Tim

        My parents were both born in now abandoned factory coal mine town. I ALMOST bought the house my father was born in, instead of an ATV for the ranch… But by the time I decided , someone had torn it down…

    • Morris Thecat

      If the properties are seized and torn down then no squatters can move in.

      • Ed_NY

        So true but it takes money to tear down a house. Detroit has no money.

  • MekongDelta69

    The only shock about this article is that 50% of DIE-Troit’s population does pay taxes.

    • Triarius

      It says that 50% of those that QUALIFY to pay taxes do. I read a few years back that the tax base in Detroit was 17%.

      • Barrack Osama

        So as few as 8% are paying taxes now. Imagine if / when the rest of the country becomes “diverse”.

      • Morris Thecat

        Here’s a scenario and a question for anyone who may be able to answer. If a person did buy property in Detroit. Let us say that was someone with means. Let’s say the purpose of the purchase is to hold onto the property until the day a big political change comes and whites take back the place. Could that person avoid paying property taxes too. It appears that the city does not confiscate property on which back taxes are owed. Let’s say the person in question decided to take that risk, because he could afford to lose the property since he bought it at such a low price. The question is, could they seize his assets elsewhere to pay for the taxes in Detroit. Does detroit have jurisdiction on a bank account outside of Detroit, outside of Michigan, outside of the US? A wealthy white person could buy property, tear the houses down, and hold onto the vacant lots. The more this happened, the less black people would live there. This could be done strategically as well, to create belts of vacant areas that would continuously move in and shrink the dark areas, while lands further back are then developed, white people move into gated communities, and the demographics shift until the government is white again.

        • You make a logical flaw early on in your argument – :”whites take back the place”. I don’t think this is going to happen in our lifetimes if ever.

          • Morris Thecat

            Where is the flaw in “logic”. You have a flaw in faith, a fatalistic attitude. That has been instilled in you by the left. That enables them. When one believes one can achieve, only then does one act. Logic tells one that as more and more of detroit decays, less and less people live there. Logic also tells one that once large areas of it are vacant, then it will be possible to rebuild those areas, with gated communities, little medieval type walled town areas. Once there are enough people living in those areas, then logic says they will decide the makeup of the government. We really are talking about a black plague. After it runs it’s course it burns itself out. One can throw gas on that fire by feeding the baser needs of the plague, such as operating discount liquor stores- whose purpose is to almost give alcohol away. We need to start being intelligent about this whole situation. WE need to recognize the weakness of the enemy and use that against him. Addiction is the greatest weakness of this plague.Violence is another. Greed is another- target the few remaining businesses of any kind and open up stores that drastically undercut them in price, then once the other stores are closed, you close your doors and leave town. It would be rather easy, if a real effort was made, to lead this population of animals into self induced oblivion.

          • First of all, let me apologize for taking so long to respond to your post. I should check my discussions more often.

            I see where you are going with this argument but my point is that there are large sections of the country that simply must be written off as a lost cause for at least several generations if not permanently. As of right now, areas like Detroit have very little if anything that is worth saving. I would rather concentrate on areas that have viable industrial bases and majority white populations right now. Yes, some of these regions may have wonderful museums but these are only “things” and we are discussing the survival of the race.

            While it can be fun to toss a hornet’s nest into the crowded juke joint on a late night there sometimes more constructive uses of time.

  • SintiriNikos

    I think this article is an indictment of White property owners. What surprises me is that there are still some Whites who get no revenue from their property and yet still pay taxes. they should just abandon it all, write those properties off and forget the past.

  • jambi19

    A third world city for third world people.

    • Tom Iron

      This is always worth a look,
      Detroit City
      Council hearing adjourned amid shouting match …

      Apr 11, 2008 … By Suzette Hackney • Detroit Free Press
      Staff Writer A Detroit City Council … to
      Cockrel as
      Shrek, the green, grumpy and rotund ogre from the animated film. As

      the council members yelled at each other, residents attending the

      – 205k – Cached
      – Similar

    • Jaytee

      That is exactly the same as in South Africa sine 1994. Entitlement.
      I sincerely hope that the Americans learn from what has happened in SA.

    • Jack Whiskey

      Africans and Liberals have destroyed South Africa and Detroit

  • The__Bobster

    It appears that eeeevil corporations and eeeevil YT are keeping DeToilet on life support. It’s time to pull the plug.

    • Morris Thecat

      when are people going to say enough is enough?

      • Jaytee

        I wish that I could give you 1000 thumbs up.

  • Was it really delinquency, or is it a matter that assessed valuation in Detroit is so low that there can’t be much in the way of personal property real estate tax revenue to be had to begin with? You can’t get blood from a turnip, and turnips are not golden eggs.

  • David Ashton

    To rephrase a notorious prewar slogan, “Today Detroit, Tomorrow the World”.

  • ye ol’ swampyankee

    Ain’t no point in a bank regaining control of the property, if properties throughout the city are nearly worthless. And since the the occupants ain’t got a pot to pizz in either, don’t care about taxes and are generally immune from the capitalist money games they play upon the white middle class.


  • StillModerated

    People walk away from dangerous neighborhoods, that includes not paying the tax bill because the is no peaceable and orderly living amongst bantu savages.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    As much as it pains me to say it, I could fully understand if GM decided to pull out of Michigan completely in favor of factories in whiter climes, and (shudder) even offshore. Supporting a parasitical population is something that we are all forced to do, and it disgusts me.

    • Tom in MI

      GM management thought about moving its headquarters out of Detroit but didn’t have the guts to do so.

    • Michael Harreskov

      Interesting, another reason way American cars are so expensive.

  • Detoilet is worth more as cropland than as it currently exists. Cropland a few years ago was selling for $10,000 an acre, far more than a fair ROI.

    Detroit is a gold mine for farming … as long as there aren’t antique farm implements living in it.

  • Revilo P. Oliver

    The service economy model isn’t working for Detroit. What fools we were to allow our manufacturing to escape and then come back duty free under the insane dogma of “free trade”. What a shame it is to see this once great country destroyed and so confused as to what has happened.

  • The half of Detroit property owners who don’t pay taxes are without a doubt black. In Atlanta these same type of people don’t pay their water bills so the whites and businesses who do pay their water bills are often charged outrageous amounts. The Federal government has taught blacks they don’t have to pay for anything: not their children, not their cell phones, not their college scholarships, not their house notes. The progressives that run our schools and churches teach blacks that whites owe them all these things and more. The longer this farce goes on the higher the cost will be to correct all this fantasy thinking. The racial spoils game has spoiled this once great nation.

    • Ken

      Time for separate nations for each race I say.

      • white panthers

        Isnt that what the black panthers want anyway?

        • crystalevans

          If they get what they want, how long will it be before they demand that the white nation subsidizes them because their people are not used to paying their fair share of anything.

          • Morris Thecat

            They wont have any white men in their borders to use that way. When one nation tries to steal the wealth of another nation, that is war. Let them try war on us when we are a united nation.

          • ken

            We will point our collective white finger at them and laugh at them because in reality that is all they deserve and nothing more.

      • Jaytee

        Or chase the blacks back to Darkest Africa.

    • Morris Thecat

      So in parts of Detroit there are no lights even. Yet the roads are in still fairly good repair, and the animals can therefore still control much of the city, as well as use those roads to venture out of the city and wreak havoc in neighboring towns. With no lights and less possibility of detection I think it would behove whites to map out the areas and start venturing into the city digging huge trenches across the roads at intersections. Perhaps we could start out by laying strips of tire flattening spikes, and then escalate to huge ditches, perhaps even camouflaged ditches.This would make it impossible for those living in the high crime, ghetto populated areas to venture outside of them. A city without money to even light the street lights would not have the resources to go repair the roads. Time to realize we are in a war folks, and act accordingly. Cut them off, seal them off. Have the state government incorporate the vast areas of vacant properties into a “New Detroit”, one that whites can build up again. WE need to SEIZE the opportunity here to HIGHLIGHT the failure that is blackness. Losing Detroit would also be a huge psychological blow that will guarantee a higher degree of irrational and violent behavior that could not be overlooked or explained away by anyone. Blacks do not lose gracefully.

  • Barrack Osama

    Nothing in Detroit makes any sense. It is a sophisticated machine with wild animals at the helm. How much more willfully ignorant can “mainstream” folks get?

  • bigone4u

    Maybe the Detroit tax collector should start seizing personal property in lieu of seizing houses, property which could then be auctioned off as partial payment on property taxes. Welcome to the world’s largest bling, wig, and sneaker auction.

  • Luca

    Detroit is making Haiti look like Tahiti.

    • Tim

      I flew in and out for a week, (Tahiti not Detroit) on my dead brothers insurance money. It was his dream to buy a sail boat and go there. Figured it was the least I could do. One thing I never forgot. When I showed the Continental agent my boarding pass for the first leg, She thought it was a joke and told me it was an imaginary place on Happy Days!! Remember the Howard runs away episode? I freaked out and said, ” Come on lady!! Continental flys there!!” That really shook me up. It was a heck of a lot better than Rio though , I must say…

  • A. Windaus

    I think that if squatters have a right to live in someone’s house rent free then the landlords who no longer receive rent, and are no longer able to receive rent, shouldn’t be required to pay rates to the local and state government who refused to do anything about the problem.

  • KenelmDigby

    This is why a White minority USA will eventually fail.
    The plain fact is that the blacks and browns simply don’t create enough productivity or wealth necessary for keeping an advanced nation running.
    Third World people generate Third World levels of economic infrastructure. Of course, the logical conclusion is that, eventually, ‘public goods’ such as education,law enforcement, social security, medical care, etc will eventually disappear leaving Haitian levels of civic society.

    • SmithandSmith

      And this is why it’s a Win-Win for us.

      If we win, we win but if we don’t, at least they don’t get to have our Culture and I Thank God for that.

  • odious liberal

    Urban negroism.

  • detroit burbs

    Has Obama forgiven these debts yet or waived the taxes? In whiter cities/counties local tax departments will initiate proceedings to seize property with their overpaid attorneys regardless how small the amount owed.

  • The only solution is for Michigan is to cut Detroit loose thus lowering the taxes for the working class.

    • IstvanIN

      Cities like Detroit should be divorced from their current state and given over to the federal government as Federal Districts, similar to DC, and let Congress run them.

  • whtabtwdiv

    When Gov Snyder appoints an emergency mgr possibly as soon as next week, that poor bastard will need to generate money. He will start selling off anything that is left that is of value. I would think going after delinquent taxes be high on the list. I just hope the vermin don’t scatter across 8 mile like so many cockroaches.

  • Fed Up

    Why would anyone live in Detroit unless they were Black? Of course what is not admissible, despite its truth, is that BLACKS turned Detroit into the urban wasteland it is. Just as they’ve turned huge portions of other northern cities into blighted areas. I know that for a fact, having lived in Philadelphia many years. Looking at the incredible blight in West Philly and North Philly, seeing the destructive mentality of Blacks on a daily basis.

    • ken

      Blacks all come equipped with built in engineering degrees for chaos and destruction.

  • taxpayer

    “They figure they dont get the services so why pay the taxes”?

    So who’s side is Taylor on with that snide one? It would seem those not paying taxes would be black or maybe they are white? Clarify.

  • AsianAmericanMan

    I would just like to point out that Asians include South Asians (predominantly Indian Americans) as well. Some (or all) Amren readers are under the impression that the lighter someone’s skin color is, the more intelligent and hardworking they are. This is not true. Indian Americans make up 1.5% of the American Population (4.3 million people) and have the lowest proportional rate of welfare, highest educational levels, and highest median incomes of all races in America. Indian Americans are heavily overrepresented in all elite and gifted academic programs throughout the country. India has had high economic growth for the past 20 years and India’s GDP is scheduled to overtake the US within the next 30 years. To group Indian Americans with Hispanics and Blacks is a serious mistake that will only make the people doing so look foolish. As for the Blacks in Detroit, well they are hopeless.

  • Someone with greater math skills work this for me…but… If most of these people are on welfare and then they are taxed on their property and expected to pay with welfare money there is no financial gain for the city involved.
    Seems to me like passing a $100.00 bill around in circles and expecting an increase without some input.
    Maybe they’re working on a perpetual financial machine like the perpetual motion machine…all that free energy/money.

    • toldev

      Not exactly. Welfare comes from federal and state funds. So a black who pays his property taxes with his welfare check does result in a net gain for the city, at the expense of the federal and state taxpayers. If it was not for this wealth transfer from the state and federal taxpayers, the city of Detroit would have hit rock bottom long ago.

      What is really outlandish are the values that the city is assessing properties. The city is over assessing the value of properties by 10X. This means that the owner of a $10,000 shack is getting a property tax bill as if he had a $100,000 house. The state of Michigan is a bad property tax state anyway, so I would guess that the city is sending the owner of that $10,000 shack an annual property tax bill of $3,000 – $4,000. No wonder people are not paying their tax bills.

  • Greetings from Africa…

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these properties still being taxed are completely abandoned. When Whites fled, I doubt there were any buyers crazy enough to buy a piece of Detroit.

  • Seek

    “Conservatives” of the Jack Kemp persuasion claim that legalizing tax evasion for blacks (“enterprise zones”) is good for capitalism. All such a policy does is further shift the tax burden from blacks to whites. What good is not paying taxes if there is no income from gainful employment? Work takes effort. And most blacks prefer not to work if there’s more to be made from gaming the system.

  • emiledurk16

    “Wayne County treasury officials are so overwhelmed by foreclosures that they ignored about 40,000 delinquent Detroit properties that should have been seized last year and said they will look the other way on about 36,000 this year.”
    What’s really troubling is people like us paying our taxes, and having the Detroit deliquents being rewarded by having the local government “look the other way”.

  • SmithandSmith

    And because so many “americans” (non-whites) are “hurting”, “We” must bail them out or to put it the other but more truthful way, hand over your money whitey.

    You watch, Michigan will be ‘bailed out’.

  • American Patriot

    Just as Haiti was once the most valuable plot of land in the Americas (when managed by White Europeans) and was turned into the outhouse of North America by the black race, sooooooo Detroit once the crown jewel of American industry (with a mostly White population and government) has in a generation and a half become a third world bantustan even with a mostly halfrican rather than undiluted african population and generous external subsidy from the Feds and the State of Michigan (aka middle class White taxpayers). See a pattern here?
    The one thing which might turn this hole around would be an iron fisted Rule by racially realistic White administrators backed by 5000 military police (White ONLY) utterly unanswerable to locals and the leftist political class at any level. Place the most violent/criminal 10% behind barbed wired pending a more permanent solution and introduce the remainder to low wage work designed to offset need for Chinese imports of low tech high labor imput products.

    • Morris Thecat

      I think a better strategy would be to analyze the current area. Determine the large areas with sparse or no habitation and incorporate those into a “New Detroit”. Let this “New Detroit” be physically separated, as a gated community is, from old detroit. Let the old detroit remain as a sign of the failure that is blackness. This would not be hard to sell to the blacks. They are corrupt by nature and if their leaders can profit off of this, they will declare that this is a “new day” for black detroit and even try to cast it as a victory. A generation down the line though, it will be clear that it was nothing more than putting them back into a ghetto, the kind that restrictive covenants created.Let New Detroit be built by and inhabited by white people and be a stunning contrast to blackness. With much of the city depopulated, and becoming more so every day, the black vote is shrinking. The situation though is such that there is no white population coming in to displace /replace the shrinking black population. A new city, incorporated with a white government and white police force, that kept the black element out, could be a place that was safe enough for white people to return to. Hopefully this new Detroit could stretch into some of the old downtown area and revitalize some of the beautiful old art deco buildings, but if not that is ok. When gang green sets in, one sometimes has to amputate to save the rest.

  • Countries get what they deserve. So do cities.

  • I’m going to take a wild guess that most of the delinquent taxpayers are black. They claim that they shouldn’t pay their property taxes because they don’t get any services, though I’m sure the thought never crosses their mind that if there’s no money they services don’t come. Ironically, they wouldn’t need all of those “services” if they didn’t turn their neighborhoods into Mogadishu. They foul their own nests but somehow it’s not their fault. They know that their houses are worthless and that it would be too much trouble to foreclose, so why pay the property taxes? Only when it comes to getting over on someone else (or the system) do blacks demonstrate levels of intelligence and cunning. Generally incapable of Invention, innovation, and civilization building/maintenance, but man can they spot an opportunity to get away with something.