City of Detroit to file 597 suits to recoup $12.2 million in unpaid back property taxes from banks, companies
The City of Detroit plans to file nearly 600 lawsuits, against mostly banks and companies, to recover over $12.2 million in unpaid property taxes owed from 2010-12.
The City has sent demand letters out this week to banks, investment companies and others, and plans to file all of the suits before the end of the month, mostly in 36th District Court. It is seeking to recoup an average of $19,942 per suit and $7,898 per parcel, covering 1,543 parcels.
“For too long, there are those who chose not to pay what they owed in taxes, leaving everyone else to pay the price,” said David Szymanski, treasurer and deputy chief financial officer for the City of Detroit. “We are working to improve City services for our residents, and to do that – whether its better police and fire protection, streetlights or better schools for our children – we need everyone who does business in this city to pay their fair share.”
The City will be going after only those who own property for profit, such as banks and companies. It is not going after any individual who owns fewer than three properties and is not associated with an LLC or company.
The City will send demand letters to the owners of delinquent property taxes this week. Those who receive such letters, but opt not to settle their debts, can expect to have lawsuits filed against them by the end of the month. Persons or entities who receive a demand letter from the City of Detroit are encouraged to immediately call (844)871-3126 to settle their accounts.
Water Residential Assistance Program Continues as Sustainable Plan for Detroit’s Low-Income Water Customers
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) made it clear today that the Water Residential Assistance Program better known as WRAP, is adequately funded and is not running out of money, as has been inaccurately reported in recent days.
The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and several news outlets, including a story in today’s Detroit Free Press, have indicated that the WRAP program is suffering from a lack of adequate funding and that new enrollees are not being admitted to the program. Both DWSD and GLWA deny there is any truth to the reports.
More than $4 million is currently available to eligible Detroit residents under the WRAP plan. An initial $1.2 million was originally allocated to Detroit from GLWA with another $800,000 from Wayne Metro. The program was further funded with $1 million from monthly voluntary contributions from Detroit Water and Sewerage Department ratepayers to assist with water payments. On July 1, WRAP received an additional $1.3 million from GLWA for Detroit. The program receives additional funding every year thanks to the agreement with GLWA and the city of Detroit.
WRAP, which launched on March 1 of this year, provides qualifying customers at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty threshold with help in paying current and past-due water bills. WRAP is a GLWA regional program offered in several counties including Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb. The program offers eligible residents up to $700 toward water bill arrearages during a 12-month period. The program also provides customer accounts with a $25 monthly credit toward current bills while freezing past-due balances. Qualifying residents with water usage exceeding 20 percent of the average household water consumption in the city are also eligible for a free home water conservation audit. The audit may provide customers with an additional $1,000 for minor household plumbing repairs.
To earn more about the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department or request water services, make payments, or report water problems, call Customer Care at 313-267-8000 or contact us at: www.detroitmi.gov/dwsd.
Health Department Leads City Wide Effort to Improve and Streamline Resources for a Lead Safe Detroit
Over the past four months, the Detroit Health Department (DHD) has stepped up its efforts to address lead exposure in Detroit as part of the Lead Safe Detroit, an initiative that aims to prevent lead exposure, provides services to children exposed to lead, and facilitates the reduction of environmental hazards in the home.
The City has begun testing for elevated levels of lead in blood among eligible children receiving immunizations or WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) benefits across Department clinics. Between April and July, DHD has conducted nearly 30% more tests compared to the same period last year.
The Department is leading a city-wide coalition to coordinate services and improve support for children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs) and their families. Among the services provided are lead education for parents and caretakers; screening and testing for elevated blood lead; home inspections for environmental lead; home lead abatement; and lead enforcement in rental properties. The partnership is led by the Health Department, and includes Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED), Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD), Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD), ClearCorps Detroit, and Wayne State University’s Green and Healthy Homes Initiatives.
The Detroit Health Department recommends annual screening for all children between the ages of 9 months old and 6 years of age. Parents who would like to have their child tested for lead should contact their pediatrician, the Detroit Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, or the Detroit Health Department’s Clinics: Samaritan Center, 5555 Conner St., 313-410-8142, and Family Place, 8726 Woodward, 313-410-7803.
What’s coming up
Occupy the Corner Finale: Backpack Give Away and Homeless Outreach
Come join clergy, community activists, community organizations, anti-violence coalitions and politicians as we occupy “hotspot” areas engaging youth, sharing resources and having solution- driven conversations about ways to eliminate violence. Council Member Mary Sheffield and Dallas Councilwoman Tiffini A. Young will be in attendance.
When: August 26, 2016 5:00pm- 8:00pm
Where: Leroy Dues Park, 1191 Antietam, Corner of Chene and Antietam
Family Fun Day and Community Health Fair
Join Councilmember Spivey and the Detroit Health Department for the third annual Family Fun Day. Enjoy free food, fun, health resources and activities for kids.
When: Saturday August 27, 12:00pm- 5:00pm
Where: Corrigan Playfield
Upcoming Road Closures:
Jazz Festival Closures
- Street closings begin at 9:00pm on Wednesday, August 31st
- (Larned closure Thursday at 12pm)
- Street reopons in time for normal traffic on Tuesday, September 6th
- Parking and loading access is maintained throughout the festival.
- Instruct your parkers / deliveries to come to the closest access point.