Detroit homeowners who do pay property taxes frustrated with return

According to published report, 1/2 of Detroit homeowners have not paid property taxes

By Sandra Ali - Anchor/Reporter

DETROIT - The Detroit News found that nearly 1/2 of Detroit's homeowners have not paid their property taxes. That revenue missing from the city amounts to more than $246 million.

The homeowners who still live on Florida Street in Detroit, where many homes are abandoned, say they are frustrated by what they get for paying their taxes.

"Detroit is like the mother, and everybody left their mother and went somewhere else," said Mike Darwish, who lives in the neighborhood.

Darwish is proud to call the neighborhood home even though most of the houses on his street are falling apart.

"We should help the city because the city has no income. We should help and pay. We shouldn't stop paying," he said.

Darwish pays his taxes because he feels it's his civic duty. However, he understands why most of his neighbors on the 500 block of West Brentwood Street do not do the same.

"A tree right there broke down, they didn't pick it up. The light is dark at night. Stray dogs, too many stray dogs," he said.

The neighbors are frustrated the city hasn't been able to keep their street lights on.

"We should pay something. We can't get nothing for nothing," said Darwish.

According to a review team appointed by the state of Michigan, Detroit can't fix its financial problems on its own. A governor-appointed emergency financial manager would have to fix the city's prperty tax system and collect millions in unpaid taxes.

Read more: Governor: EFM decision for Detroit may come next week

"We should help, but the city should help us back. It goes both ways," said Darwish.

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