"This is a fabulous plan. It doesn't come with a check. And that's the reality we all face," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "We're going to have to start to go after private business owners who have the deep pockets to demolish their own buildings ... We have identified every single city-owned building and we are going to be coming out with a plan to demolish the ones we can't use."
The report suggested the city dedicate $8 million each year from federal community development block grants for demolition, and also press for more mortgage help through the Hardest Hit Fund. Detroit's land bank should require $15,000 in cash from banks when they transfer the titles of blighted properties, it added.
The city's current bankruptcy plan depends partly on donations from foundations and nonprofit organizations, and the blight plan also calls for tapping nongovernment sources.
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"We're trying to pull together half a billion dollars - I never thought half a billion dollars would be considered seed money ... to provide the seed money to deal with an issue that's been coming for 83 years," said the emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who traced Motor City's blight to the Great Depression.
The report found that fewer than half of Detroit property owners pay property taxes. There are also 118,000 properties on track for tax foreclosure, carrying more than $500 million unpaid taxes, but "Detroit cannot afford to put more than a quarter of the city on the auction block." It suggested the state cut interest charged on unpaid taxes to 6 percent from 18 percent.