As more and more residents flee the progressive paradise that is Detroit, the city’s government is being overwhelmed by foreclosures — so many, in fact, that the city treasurer ignored the cases of 40,000 delinquent properties last year alone. Ignoring these properties that should be foreclosed on may be a violation of state law and encourages squatting, scrapping and speculation, the Detroit News warns.
County treasury officials are already planning to look the other way on an additional 36,000 properties this year because they say they can’t handle the sheer volume of residents not paying their bills:
Some neighbors and experts say the policy puts already distressed properties in limbo: Their owners are unaccountable, skipping more than three years of paying taxes. But the properties aren’t sold at auction, leaving them vulnerable to thieves and vandals — and allowing bulk land buyers to keep houses and lots they don’t maintain.
“It continues to be apparent that the Wayne County treasurer is in over his head,” said state Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit and a frequent critic of Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz. “Little to no thought has been put into developing a concerted strategy to putting those properties back into productive use.”
The city of Detroit is facing a full-blown fiscal emergency and its fate is now in the hands of Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder. After a state-appointed budgetary review team declared the city a fiscal disaster area, Gov. Snyder now has a month to appoint an emergency manager to take charge of the city’s finances and spending and come up with a new plan for the future.