DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Records show that nearly half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating the city’s financial crisis.
The Detroit News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found 47 percent of the city’s taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills.
About $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected, nearly half of which was due to Detroit. The rest of the money was for entities including Wayne County, Detroit Public Schools and the library system.
The review found 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes last year. Most of the non-payers owe at least $1,000.
The unpaid property taxes are just another red line in the books for Detroit. On Tuesday, a state-appointed review team found the city was in a financial emergency and forwarded its report to the governor for review.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon said it’s the governor’s call – but he thinks an emergency manager is a good idea, and the only way to get city residents the services they need.
“The city’s had a lot of time to get this house in order in their own and, at some point, you know, we have a responsibility at the state to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents and … no one’s suffering more than the residents of the city, and I think that’s what should be our main focus,” Dillon said.
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