Housing advocates in Detroit continue to call on the City of Detroit to do more about property tax over-assessments and to compensate people who have suffered financially, including those who have lost their homes to tax foreclosure.
“We’ve done everything that I think we can do to make sure that the assessments we’re doing on houses… is allowing Detroiters to be sure that the assessed values are accurate.” – Conrad Mallett, City of Detroit
Recently, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and law professor and activist Bernadette Atuahene joined Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the issue of property tax assessments in the city of Detroit. They say that between 2009 and 2015, up to 80% of homes in the city were unconstitutionally over-assessed, and they point to studies that suggest the problem persists to this day. They’re calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to investigate and end property over-assessments and activists want Mayor Duggan to create a fund to compensate homeowners who were overcharged.
Stephen Henderson speaks with a city official to get his perspective on the issue.
Listen: City of Detroit Deputy Mayor Conrad Mallett responds to activists’ calls for city to do more about tax over-assessments
Conrad Mallett is deputy mayor of the City of Detroit. He says the city is doing what it can to address these issues. Mallett says there are bigger societal problems affecting housing in the city.
“What remains a problem in the city of Detroit, and every other city in the nation, is poverty,” says Mallett.
“We’ve done everything that I think we can do to make sure that the assessments we’re doing on houses (are) allowing Detroiters to be sure that the assessed values are accurate,” he continues.
Responding to advocates’ calls to establish a fund to compensate people affected by past over-assessments, Mallett says, frankly, the city doesn’t have the money. He says the state and federal governments are more equipped and better suited to spearhead that kind of effort.
“We’re the wrong level of government to create a fund to create the recompense that Congresswoman Tlaib is calling for,” he says.