In 2017, the Chicago Tribune published a series of stories on the Cook County Tax Assessor’s Office, finding that for years the county’s property tax system had given huge financial breaks to homeowners in wealthier and largely white communities while placing an unfair burden on poorer people living in minority communities… In February, the Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy released a review of property assessments in Detroit between 2016-2018, finding that the property tax burden fell disproportionately on the city’s lowest-income homeowners.
In a newly released study, the University of Chicago’s Center for Municipal Finance analyzed Detroit’s 2016-2018 assessment data. They find that — while the average home price was $35,600 — the majority of lower-valued homes (less than $19,000 sale price) were assessed in excess of the Michigan Constitution’s established limit. Due in large part to systematic overcharging, Detroit has one of the highest property tax foreclosure rates of any city since the Great Depression.
Langowski’s presentation regarding the Center’s R package and related code, and its use in our property tax evaluations, begins at minute 50:00.
“‘Detroit is not the only place to have this problem but it is among the worst that I have seen,’ said Christopher Berry, University of Chicago.”