The Detroit News analyzed 200,000 pages of Detroit data on 2011 property taxes and found that taxes were paid in full on just 53 percent of taxable properties, and that taxes were paid on time on fewer than half of the cityís properties. Athough there are many vacant properties with little value, most of the nonpayers owed at least $1,000. Mapping software showed that, by and large, neighborhoods with the most value had the highest payment rates.
For a generation, Detroit has levied as many property taxes as it legally could on its citizens. Now, after decades of plummeting population and property values, some wonder if that was such a good idea.