Detroit homeowners getting first property reassessment in 50 years

Detroit homeowners will be receiving a notice that their property value is being reassessed for the first time in 50 years.

Samuel Rucker is an associate broker at Summit Realty in Detroit. 

He's been in the business for 30 years and has seen the highs and lows of the Detroit real estate market.

So when he heard about Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's plan for 10 to 20-percent property assessment reductions for three-quarters of Detroit homeowners, he believes it's a step in the right direction.

"I think it will have a big impact," he said. "One of first things people look at after the price - sticker shock or whatever - he wants to know how much the taxes are going to be."

In a press conference Wednesday, Duggan says property in Detroit has been over-assessed for a long time and it's an issue that needs to be corrected. That correction can only add up to more money for the city

"We said we believe if you assessing people fairly, people will pay their bills," Duggan said. "Our property tax revenues are coming in well above projections. We're budgeted at $100 million, they are coming in at  about $115 million."

But not all communities will see a reduction. Twenty-five stable communities like Sherwood Forest and Palmer Woods will see no assessment cuts.

"The really interesting thing is, 25 of these neighborhoods, the property values have hit bottom and are starting to come up a little bit," Duggan said. "And so in 25 neighborhoods in the city, there is no assessment cut."

Duggan says the reduction will help bring property assessments and taxes back in sync with their true value helping people stay in their homes.

"Which is going to mean a significant reduction of foreclosures," Duggan said.

And if for some reason homeowners are not happy with the assessment, Duggan says you can still seek an appeal.

"They have that legal right to go and challenge it," Duggan said. "Anybody has legal right  to do some. I'm looking to get to the day where people don't stop me and tell me, 'My house is over-assessed' which I still hear far too often." 

Still, Rucker sees the assessment cuts as an effort that will help put Detroit back on the map as a city to purchase property and create the American Dream.

"It's going to be good for Detroiters," he said. "And good for people who are looking to come to Detroit as a place to live."
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