Radio show focuses on Detroit's property debt crisis, inflated tax bills
Detroit's property tax debt crisis will be the focus of an hour-long episode of the radio show "Reveal," airing Tuesday on WDET, 101.9 FM.
"Reveal," aired nationally and produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, has been working with The Detroit News and freelance reporter Mark Betancourt on an investigation of tax debt and the city's inflated property assessments.
The first segment of the episode, produced by Betancourt, focuses on inflated tax bills and how Detroit homeowners have struggled to pay them. The News' analysis found that Detroit overtaxed homeowners by at least $600 million after it failed to accurately bring down property values in the years following the Great Recession.
In addition, nearly one in four Detroit homeowners owes more in delinquent property taxes as of fall 2019 than they did three years prior, despite being a part of a county program designed to help them get out of debt and avoid foreclosure, according to The News.
Both analyses were made possible when Emmanuel Martinez of "Reveal" wrote code that "scraped" delinquent tax debt amounts from the Wayne County Treasurer's website, public data for which the treasurer wanted to charge The News $235,000.
The episode also includes a piece produced by Outlier Media that explores how neighborhoods are affected by thousands of tax foreclosed properties now under city ownership, as well as "Reveal" host Al Letson's interview with Mayor Mike Duggan.
Listen at 2 a.m., 2 p.m. or 11 p.m. Tuesday on WDET 101.9 FM.
Search a Detroit home here to find out how much The News estimates it was overtaxed between 2010 and 2016.