Thursday, February 21, 2013

Detroit Heading For Detoilet

Neh State's financial report revealed, to no one's surprise, that Detroit is in a financial emergency situation with $14 billion in debt.

It also revealed that more than half of Detroiters don't pay property taxes and there's been little to no attempt by the city to remedy this loss of around $246 million per year in revenue.

The Detroit News: Half of Detroit property owners don't pay taxes

early 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.

But not to worry, Detroit's finance director Cheryl Johnson says with a straight face that that Detroit's "property tax system is not broken."

Denial isn't just a river in Africa, but a part of life in Detroit.

This insanity is furthered by the fact that:

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.

In short the City is beyond a mess. The review team concluded that just about everything that's possible to break and be dysfunctional in Detroit is indeed broken and dysfunctional. It is so bad the governor may be delaying appointing an EFM because the rot is so pervasive there's no way an EFM, who will be contested in every way possible by Detroiters, will be able to get the situation to a semblance of normalcy in time.

We're watching the end result of over 50 years of Democrat rule and a vivid demonstration of what happens when Democrats run out of other people's money.

Here's hoping Snyder doesn't try to bail the City of Detroit out. Let an EFM be appointed or have it go the city enter Bankruptcy court, but no bailout that permits the idiots and the culture of corruption and incompetence that ran it into the ground in place.

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