Detroit has finally set its sights on some of the real culprits of the city’s financial crisis—the banks and for-profit companies that refuse to pay their share.
The city on Wednesday said it issued demand letters to 1,543 private entities, both residential and commercial, to recoup more than $12 million in unpaid property taxes, which piled up between 2010 and 2012 alone.
If they don’t pony up, the city will file lawsuits against them by the end of the month, officials said.
“For too long, there are those who chose not to pay what they owed in taxes, leaving everyone else to pay the price,” Detroit’s treasurer and deputy chief financial officer David Szymanski said Wednesday. “We are working to improve city services for our residents, and to do that—whether it’s better police and fire protection, streetlights or better schools for our children—we need everyone who does business in this city to pay their fair share.”
Szymanski emphasized the city’s plan to go after corporations and multiple-property owners, rather than individual taxpayers, as has previously been the case—notably during the water shutoff crisis in 2014.
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