As Detroit Looks Forward, Questions Around Property Taxes Abound

Crain’s Detroit Business Senior Editor Chad Livengood weighs in on the economic health of Detroit.

Just six years out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, are Detroit’s finances stable enough to hold up in a recession? How are the city’s books looking in 2019? Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson checks in with Chad Livengood, Senior Editor with Crain’s Detroit Business.

Laura Weber-Davis, WDET
Laura Weber-Davis, WDET

Livengood notes that “at the beginning of the century, Detroit had a tax base of around $16 billion… what’s happened because of so much abandonment and the demolition of neighborhoods, you have almost worthless property everywhere,” he says of the dismal property vales in the city. 

“If you go look at the budget of Royal Oak or Westland or Livonia you will find two-thirds of their budget is from property tax… in Detroit we are very dependent on two things: casino tax revenue, and $369 million is coming from individual and corporate income tax,” says Livengood. He also points out that “some of the big projects that are going to be transformational in this city, all of these are getting heavy tax abatements where they will not pay any property tax for years.” 

Click on the audio player above to hear Crain’s editor Chad Livengood talk about Detroit’s tax challenges.

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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.