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Detroit Makes Headway in Historic Citywide Reappraisal

by John O'Neil, Chicago, February 2017

 

The City of Detroit is still completing the process of reappraising an estimated 143,000 commercial and industrial properties. However, for the first time in 60 years, every residential property has been reassessed and new notices of value are being mailed.

 

Modest Changes

 

The three-year, parcel-by-parcel review of more than 250,000 residential properties has resulted in the vast majority of Detroit homeowners seeing only modest changes to their assessments.

 

For example, city officials say:

 

  • 53% will see assessment reductions of 10% or less

  • 41% will see an increase of 10% or less

Some homeowners are seeing much larger value increases near downtown, while values have decreased dramatically in neighborhoods near the city’s borders. Officials say there are now more significant differences between properties since each was individually assessed.

 

Officials Hope Increased Fairness Will Lead to Increased Tax Revenues

 

Detroit CFO John Hill said that bringing more fairness to the property tax system in Detroit has led to more residents paying their property taxes. Collections have increased steadily from about 68% in 2012, to 79% in 2015, and a projected 82% in 2016.

 

“With many people seeing assessment reductions, we expect to see an increase in the number of homeowners who pay their full taxes,” said Hill. “In the near term, we expect this move to keep more taxpaying residents in the city. In the long term, we believe it will help to bring in more new homeowners and help to start growing our residential tax base.”