Detroit Charter

The Detroit Charter and City Government

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Annotations By: Jacqueline Bejma

Sec. 8-401. Power

The city can levy a property tax equal to 2% of real property’s assessed value

The city can levy property taxes for public transportation and transit services

The City is authorized to levy property taxes at the rate of two percent (2%) of assessed value of all real and personal property in the City or to such other maximum limit as may be permitted by law.

Included is the power to levy property taxes for public transportation and transit services to the maximum rate permitted by law.

The subjects of taxation for municipal purposes shall be in accordance with state law.

Sec. 8-402. Assessors’ Duties

The board of assessors certify all real property assessments

Assessors will prepare the tax roll and equally distribute property taxes across that tax roll

  1. The Board of Assessors shall certify the assessment roll to the board of review on or before the date provided by ordinance
  2. The Assessors shall prepare the tax roll by spreading property taxes ratably on the assessment roll on or before the date provided by ordinance and shall deliver the tax roll to the Treasurer in the manner provided by law.

Sec. 8-403. Collection of Property Taxes

The city must follow state laws when collecting and enforcing property taxes

City property taxes are the responsibility of the person liable for them and are subject to lien on the 1st day of the City’s fiscal year

Property taxes are considered delinquent if unpaid by September 1

If ½ of the property tax due is paid by August 15, the balance is not considered delinquent until January 16

State, county and school taxes are collected and returned to the city treasurer according to state law

The city treasurer will give reasonable notice to all delinquent accounts before the end of the fiscal year

Any property with a city lien for delinquent taxes is considered sold to the finance director on the last day of the fiscal year

The finance director can sell any lien with agreement of the planning and development director, or any other director designated by the mayor

City council must pass an ordinance outlining the procedure for selling liens

City council can review and revise procedures for selling liens at any time

The City or lienholder can foreclose on a property 2 years after sale

All past due costs of a foreclosed property must be made within 60 days

The City can file a lawsuit against any person with unpaid property taxes

The City or any lienholder can take any action necessary to collect or enforce property taxes

  1. Except as otherwise provided by this Charter or ordinance, the rights, duties, powers, and immunities established by state law shall apply in the collection and enforcement of city property taxes.
  2. City property taxes shall become a debt of the persons liable for them on the date provided by state law and shall become payable, and a lien upon the property, on the first (1st) day of the city’s fiscal year or such other date as may be provided by ordinance.
  3. Property taxes shall become delinquent if they remain unpaid on September 1. However, when any person shall pay one-half (1/2) of the city taxes on any property on or before the fifteenth (15th) day of August, the remaining one-half (1/2) shall not become delinquent until the sixteenth (16th) day of January. The City may, by ordinance, provide interest and penalties for delinquent city property taxes.
  4. State, county and school taxes shall be collected and returned by the City Treasurer in accordance with state law. However, except as otherwise provided by law or ordinance, city property taxes shall not be returned to the Wayne County Treasurer under state law.
  5. Before the end of the City’s fiscal year, the Treasurer shall give reasonable notice to all persons who are liable for delinquent real property taxes that, on the last day of the fiscal year, the city’s lien on real property for delinquent city real property taxes shall be deemed “sold” to the Finance Director. Thereafter, the Finance Director, with the concurrence of the Planning and Development Director or any other department director designated by the Mayor, may sell the lien in accordance with procedures provided for by ordinance adopted by the City Council. Any such ordinance adopted shall provide for appropriate hardship protections. The ordinance may also provide for public notice of the sale of the lien to a third party. The council may at any time review and revise the procedures and protections established by any such ordinance adopted to determine their appropriateness and effectiveness. However, two (2) years following the enactment of any such ordinance, the City Council shall review the procedures and protections established by that ordinance to determine their appropriateness and effectiveness.
  6. Two (2) years after such a sale of the lien on any real property to the Finance Director, the city or other holder of the lien may bring a civil action to foreclose its lien.

    If the City or other holder of the lien prevails in the action, the judgment, which may not be entered before one hundred and twenty (120) days have expired from the filing of the complaint, shall provide that possession of the real property to which the lien attached shall be given to the City or other holder of the lien, unless the judgment, and all costs are paid within sixty (60) days. The judgment when final shall be conclusive evidence of the City’s or other lienholder’s title in fee simple, subject only to unextinguished interests or encumbrances.
  7. In addition to the other remedies specified in this section, at the time unpaid city property taxes become delinquent or at any later time permitted by law, the city may maintain a personal action against the debtor for collection of the unpaid property taxes and may use any means permitted by law for collection of the debt. The City of Detroit tax roll shall be prima facie evidence of the amount of the indebtedness to the City of Detroit. The preceding sections of 8-403 are not the exclusive remedies of the City of Detroit.
  8. In addition to the procedures and remedies for the collection and enforcement of the property taxes set forth in the Charter, the city or other lienholder may use any procedure and remedy for the collection and enforcement of property taxes established by state law.

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