Residents victimized by inflated home tax assessments to finally get help, city says

When home values tanked after the housing market went under in 2008, the city of Detroit did not adjust how it assessed the values of homes in the years that followed. It resulted in thousands of homes getting taxed at inflated rates.

On Tuesday Mayor Mike Duggan's Office went before City Council offering a proposal that included several programs to help provide some compensation for the over assessment.

"We do owe you something, whether it be direct compensation, credit, or some type of preferential treatment in our existing programs," said Councilwoman Mary Sheffield.

"It's the next step in moving forward," said Arthur Jemison, city of Detroit attorney. "It's a package of benefits that we have identified for Detroiters who were affected by over-assessments (on property taxes).

"Everything from the ability to acquire a house at LandBank auction site for 50 percent off, to becoming first in line for units of affordable housing." 

The proposal also includes preference In hiring for city employment 

Sheffield, the council president pro tem, says she has been pushing for this sort of plan to rectify the wrong for years.

"It's good to see he was able to look at what we recommended and included some of this in the resolution proposal," she said. "I think it is a step in the right direction." 

If you believe there is something missing in this proposal council members want to hear from you now.

"If you don't think we're going far enough this is the time to speak up," Sheffield said.

"If people feel like this is the right step reach out to council," Jemison said.

After negotiations, the council will vote to confirm the plan. If you would like to learn about the benefits offered in the plan: Persons making oral presentations are encouraged to submit written copies to the City Clerk’s Office