DETROIT – A group protesting the overtaxing of Detroit residents forced the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center to temporarily shut down on Friday afternoon.
The building was closed around 1 p.m., for a short time, but reopened by 1:40 p.m. Local 4′s Tim Pamplin was on the scene:
Protesters were demanding residents be re-paid for the over-taxation.
Dozens gathered Thursday night for a town hall meeting addressing Detroit’s property tax controversy.
The meeting comes after Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in his State of the City Address that overtaxed homeowners from 2010 to 2016 shouldn’t expect to see any cash coming back to them. Homeowners aren’t ready to give up the fight just yet.
Dozens of homeowners showed up to Bethel AME Church on Thursday night, eager to hear what comes next after it was revealed that Detroit residents were overtaxed $600 million between 2010 and 2016.
Michigan’s constitution states that no property can be assessed at more than 50 percent of its market value. According to legal experts, the vast majority of these foreclosures are products of illegally inflated property taxes which violated the state’s constitution.
Currently, 80 percent of Detroit’s population is African-American with 40 percent of the city’s residents living below the federal poverty line.
Ray Solomon from the mayor’s office released the following statement:
"The mayor started working on the assessment issue when he was running for office in 2013 because he knew the city had been over assessing properties for some time. Within his first month of office he cut assessments by 22% to correct the problem. Since that time he has implemented and partnered on a number of initiatives that have helped those most affected by those earlier over assessments and reduce tax foreclosures in Detroit by 94%. Just last week the legislature passed the pay as you stay program which will help thousands more who are affected.
We continue to look for solutions to help residence who were impacted by over assessments in 2010 through 2013 and in fact were able to help several of the protesters today get connected to assistance programs."