News from the City Government


City of Detroit Sees First Gain in Assessed Residential Property Values in 17 Years

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  • Nearly 60% of residents will see 2018 assessments rise by 10% or less
  • Homeowners protected by 1.02% cap (2018) on property taxes increases until property changes hands
  • Property owners can appeal assessments until February 15th

Detroit, Michigan – The City of Detroit has seen its first net increase in residential property values in at least 17 years, another indication that Detroit property values are increasing as the city’s revitalization continues and spreads, city officials announced today.

2018 Residential Property Assessment Map Download larger map (pdf)

For years, the Office of the Assessor had reduced assessments across the city to reflect the loss in value of properties in Detroit.  In 2008, for example, the cumulative assessed value of all residential properties in the city was $8.8 billion.  Last year that number was $2.8 billion. This year, the assessed value of the city’s 263,000 residential properties was up slightly to $3 billion.  

Meanwhile, the city’s commercial properties continued a steady increase in value to nearly $3 billion, while the value of industrial properties recovered from a drop last year, rising from $314 million to $513 million. 

Mayor Mike Duggan pointed to the increase as a tangible example of the city’s ongoing recovery, which includes a significant rise in residential property values in most areas of the city, based on actual sales data.

“This is another sign of progress. We still have a long way to go to in rebuilding our property values, but the fact that we have halted such a long, steep decline is a significant milestone,” Duggan said. “This also corresponds with the significant increase in home sale prices we have seen in neighborhoods across the city.”

In late January the Office of the Assessor mailed out notices to residential property owners, advising them of their proposed assessments for 2018.  These are not tax bills.  Actual bills will be mailed out in June and payments are due August 15th.  Property owners are encouraged to use one of the 28 payment kiosks across the city that will allow them to make their payment at their convenience without having to travel and park downtown.  A list of kiosk locations is available on the Wayne County Treasurer’s website.

Here is how the proposed 2018 residential property assessments break down across the city:

Assessment Increases % of parcels # of parcels
+0.1% - 5% 31% 81,559
+5.1% - 9.9% 28% 73,667
+10% - 14.9% 15% 39,464
+15% - 21.4% 4% 10,523

Assessment Decreases % of parcels # of parcels
-12% - 5.9% 5%          13,154
-4.1% - 0.2% 16% 42,095

No Change in Assessment % of parcels # of parcels
0%    1%       2,632

Impact on property taxes

While many properties have seen significant increases in their assessments, property tax increases for 2018 are factored at 1.02%.  Additionally, unless property changes ownership any taxable value increases are capped at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 5%, whichever is lower.  Once a property changes ownership, the taxable value is uncapped to the level of the assessed value, and then recapped until the property changes ownership again.    An owner of a home with an assessed value at $100,000, on average, might expect to see an increase in their taxes this year of about $67, according to Detroit’s Deputy CFO- Assessor, Alvin Horhn.

Over the past several years, the City of Detroit has done a great deal to get its assessments in line with the actual market value of properties, including reducing assessments and conducting the first citywide parcel-by-parcel reappraisal of real property in 60 years.  Chief Financial Officer John Hill says he is confident that the city’s assessments are fair and reliable. 

CFO John Hill notes that the work done to ensure assessments are fair has led to more residents paying their property taxes.  Collections have increased steadily from an average of 69% in 2012-14 to 79% in 2015 and 80% in 2016.  The collection rate for 2017 is projected to be 82%.

“With residents continuing to receiving fair assessments, we hope to see an increase in the number of homeowners who pay their full taxes,” said Hill.  “In the near term, we expect this move to keep more taxpaying residents in the city.  In the long term, we believe it will help to bring in more new homeowners and help to continue growing our residential tax base.”  

How to challenge your assessment

Notices of proposed assessments have been mailed out to all property owners.  Residents should note that this is not a tax bill. If a property owner chooses to appeal their assessment, the City of Detroit’s Office of the Assessor has begun the annual Assessors Review appeal process, which allows property owners to challenge their 2017 property values.  The appeal process runs through February 15 in Room 804 of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI. Please note that Residential Property Owners must begin the appeals process at the Assessors Review. Commercial, Industrial, and Personal Property owners may, if they chose, proceed directly to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The deadline to appeal directly to the Michigan Tax Tribunal is May 31.

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