Detroit's lower property assessments mean more revenue for the city

Jan 29, 2015

Houses in Detroit's Durfee neighborhood.
Credit Flickr user Michigan State Historical Preservation Office / Flickr

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently announced that more than half of Detroit home owners will see their property tax assessments drop by 10% .

"Here you have a mayor of Detroit who has, effectively, cut taxes two times in the last two years. When has that ever happened before?" asks Daniel Howes, whose article published in the Detroit News today evaluates the mayor's decision.

The idea is that if assessments more accurately reflect property values in the city, more people will pay. When property assessments were lowered in parts of Detroit last year, city officials say the potential loss was offset because more people paid their taxes.

"By actually cutting assessments they're getting more revenue," says Howes, who indicates the city is on trend to out-perform its initial estimate.

Howes says the decision to lower assessments reflects a smarter approach for city government. With a $10,000 price tag to tear down a house, Howes says it's in Detroit's best interest to keep as many people in their homes as possible.

*Listen to our conversation with Daniel Howes at 3 p.m. on Stateside