It’s not news that the city of Detroit has one of highest tax rates in metro Detroit, Michigan and the country.

What is news is a new land value tax plan to help change that and get, officials say, a nearly thirty percent cut on property taxes for most Detroit homeowners (and a huge increase on people who own undeveloped vacant land: speculators, downtown parking lots, scrap yard owners, and more).

On your Daily Detroit for Thursday, June 1, 2023 – we’re going to dig in to it with someone who is going to know the ins and outs better than anyone I could think of – Jay Rising, the CFO for the city of Detroit.

Here’s the full proposal if you want to take a look for yourself:

 These high tax rates are something that discourages people and families from buying and building in the city; and means that many companies just won’t give Detroit a look for locating here. This plan would put Detroit, as far as property taxes, in the middle of the pack in metro detroit. It’s not just about missed development, but the current system costs the city money.

Currently, there are benefits to letting your property rot. The mayor calls it a lottery ticket – you pay almost nothing, but if your land ends up being in a place someone needs, there’s big gains to be made. It’s why so much land is locked up by out of town investors with no intention of doing anything with it.

This land value tax plan would require a change in state law and a vote of the residents of the city, but would give cities in Michigan the option to increase the tax on land and decrease it on buildings.

There’s support from both legislative leadership and a number of heavy hitters like the Metro Detroit black business alliance and the Kresge foundation. but it was clear from our listeners that there are so many questions after the proposal was unveiled on Wednesday by Detroit mayor Mike Duggan.

The details matter.

So let’s unpack it the best we can a day out with Detroit’s Chief Financial Officer, Jay Rising.

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