83-year-old property owner fights city on taxes he says he paid

James Young says the city should not be fighting him for taxes he owes because he already paid them - and has proof.

A Detroit property owner is told he owes taxes for a bill he says he's already paid. In fact, he says he can prove it.

It's been years of back and forth with the city, and FOX 2's Charlie Langton says this is a problem that could happen to you.

James Young wants to keep his house near Fulton and Grand River on Detroit's west side.

"We've been here 30 years," says Young, who is 83 years old. "It is a beautiful home."

But the city of Detroit says James didn't pay his taxes from 2012.  

Young received a notice of with a court date of foreclosure, which says he is going to lose the property. 

There are technically three parcels of land in the duplex and empty lot. Maybe there was a mistake, but is it too late?

Charlie Langton took a trip to the Wayne County Treasurer's Office. They are the people that handle tax foreclosures for the city of Detroit. 

Langton explained that Young paid his 2012 tax bill, and has the canceled check to prove it. 

"It seems that something must have happened here," says David Szymanski, chief deputy treasurer. "When I look at our parcel comments, I see that Detroit corrected the taxes for 2012."     

So, looks like there was a mistake on the part of the city.

Szymanski issued a document that stated there was "no outstanding taxes for this parcel."

It only took about three years to correct, but good paperwork and diligence won out. 

"It's a beautiful place," James Young said. "They don't build them like these no more."


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