Detroit Evening Report: New study shows Detroit over-assessed its lowest-valued properties

Detroit City Council approved two resolutions this week to review the assessed values of homes under $35,000 in the city after a recent study found the properties to be significantly over-assessed.

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The University of Chicago study found that between April 1, 2023 to March 14, 2024, approximately 65% of the lowest value homes in Detroit — residential properties sold between $3,400 and $34,700 — were assessed over 50% of their market value.

However, City Assessor Alvin Horhn says only the state has the authority to change the assessments or offer a reduction after the review board is closed.  

“The State tax commission has complete and total jurisdiction over assessment matters in the state. Anyone who has evidence, evidence that Michigan law is being broken, is obligated to take that evidence to the Michigan State Tax Commission so they can correct it.”

Horhn says what they can do is review the homes identified as over assessed and provide an outline on how those homes will be addressed during the next assessment period. 

The approved resolutions also called for the city council to urge the Wayne County Treasurer to put a halt on tax foreclosures for the homes under review. 

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  • Bre'Anna Tinsley
    Bre'Anna Tinsley is a reporter for Detroit Public Radio, 101.9 WDET. She covers city government and housing, as well as co-hosting the "Detroit Evening Report" podcast.