Councilwoman gets great deal on Detroit property taxes

I’m not even sure what to think of this. Detroit city councilwoman JoAnn Watson owns a nice looking home in Detroit and paid $68 in property taxes in 2008. Sixty-eight dollars. It looks like the city of Detroit figured that the property was an empty lot for the past decade.

From the Detroit Free Press

Watson said she was unaware of the discrepancy until the Free Press contacted her. She said the change came before she was elected to City Council — and without her involvement.

“I pay the taxes. All I know is I had a big drop when my house got hit hard by a tornado,” she said. “We had great damage.”

Watson said she could not recall the specific date the tornado hit, saying it might have been 2002, or perhaps 1993.

Look, it’s certainly probable that the assessors office screwed up 10 years ago, but if a city council member could not figure out that something was wrong with her tax bill, she certainly does not deserve to be any sort of leader in local government.

Photos courtesy of Click on them to enlarge.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on May 26, 2009 at 7:42 am

    You didn't say, but would I be incorrect in supposing that Councilwoman Watson is a Democrat?  And would I be wrong to assume that Treasury Secretary Geithner will be scrutinizing her federal returns (unlike the way he "scrutinized" his own) for similar "oversights?"

    I only say that in light of the fact that Democrats seem to have more trouble paying their taxes than independents, libertarians or Republicans.   Funny how they never seem to have trouble creating and enforcing new taxes….

  2. Steve McGough on May 26, 2009 at 7:50 am

    After spending more than 10 minutes trying to find out which political party she was in, I gave up. I reviewed quite a few blog posts, the site, as well as the Detroit city council's Web site and got zip.

  3. Dimsdale on May 26, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Then the answer is yes, when you have to dig that hard.  Party ID is only given when it can hurt Republicans.

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