A new study, worth reading, by Detroit News, finds that almost half the owners of the city's 305,000 properties skipped out on paying their share of property taxes. "The News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found that 47 percent of the city's taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills. Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected[...]"
That's nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in lost revenue to the state. The moral hazard here is articulated by Fred Philips, who owes over $2,600 in unpaid taxes on his home. "Why pay the taxes?," Philips asked. "Why should I send them taxes when they aren't supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came."