Property taxes are also too high in the Downriver area, where the millage rate average is more than 22 percent higher than for 13 competitor communities in northwestern Wayne and Oakland counties.

The competitor communities have benefitted from Detroit's economic decline, and economic development which has proceeded north into Oakland County, away from Downriver. These are communities that Downriver must compete with if it is to remain viable for economic development: Birmingham, Canton Township, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Northville, Northville Township, Novi, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Redford Township, Royal Oak, Southfield and Troy.

In 1987, the average millage rate for the 17 Downriver communities was 72.11 mills. [15] The average rate for the 13 competitor communities was 58.94 mills. [16]

The Downriver average is also higher than the statewide average of 63.44 mills for cities and 47.27 mills for townships Incredibly, not a single Downriver community has a millage rate lower than the statewide average. [17] The rates in Riverview (64.80 mills) and Trenton (65.69 mills) were the lowest Downriver in 1987, although both exceed the state average. Both Downriver townships also exceed the average millage rate in their category.

The Melvindale millage rate (85.05 mills) actually exceeds Detroit's rate (82.08 mills, while Lincoln Park's rate (81.12 mills) is comparable. [18]

Table 1 compares the property tax burden of the 17 Downriver communities with the 13 competitor communities in northwestern Wayne and Oakland counties.

TABLE I

Total Property Tax Millage in 1987 by Communities

Downriver communities

Millage

Allen Park

70.99

Brownstown Township

69.02

Ecorse

76.72

Flat Rock

69.44

Gibraltar

70.60

Grosse Ile Township

68.66

Lincoln Park

81.12

Melvindale

85.05

River Rouge

73.19

Riverview

64.80

Rockwood

71.10

Romulus

69.77

Southgate

69.00

Taylor

76.43

Trenton

65.69

Woodhaven

73.03

Wyandotte

71.28

 

 

Other communities

 

Birmingham

54.47

Canton Township

57.40

Farmington

53.60

Farmington Hills

51.49

Northville

67.91

Northville Township

55.72

Novi

58.25

Plymouth

68.92

Plymouth Township

55.81

Redford Township

51.12

Royal Oak

69.37

Southfield

60.55

Troy

61.56

Data are from the Michigan State Tax Commission, 1987 Ad Valorem Property Tax Levy Report