The Business-Technology Weave

Jan 25 2011   11:53AM GMT

Detroit is Desperate for Money – yet delays tax revenue with incorrect bills

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


The Ombudsman for the city of Detroit reports that a mistake in the finance department has resulted in almost 60,000 property tax bills with the wrong interest rate.

Further compounding this error is a situation whereby some residents received no tax bill at all, and others got two.

City Ombudsman Dorian Brown’s office has been swamped with calls:  

“In an environment where we are told on a daily basis that the city is broke, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that the city cannot get their game together so that they collect money and collect it on time.  Service delivery is linked to the resources the city has to provide them; this is outrageous that the city has not prioritizing the collection of tax money which is needed to provide the services we all deserve,” Brown stated.

It does seem rather incredible that the relatively simple matter of a tax rate cannot be applied to the servicing of tax bills.  Further, computer-driven mailings have been going on for years – it shouldn’t be too challenging – in 2011 – to ensure a list gets satisfied through processing, yielding a very simple requirement…

…that one taxpayer/property gets one coherent bill.

It should not be difficult to review a few regs, laws, and standards, and then populate some fields, execute a data merge, and produce some bills and letters for mailing. 

In my travels, I’m discovering more and more organizations, private and government, that are not improving in matters of timeliness, accuracy, and service when it comes to the maximum actualization of technology and available benefits.  This is very troublesome.

It’s expensive correcting mistakes; mistakes hold proper systems, activities, and benefits at bay; and further, mistakes can cost an organization its reputation in very short order.

In the realm of an ever-tighter Business-Technology Weave, it is crucial to tune heads and pull everyone’s best game.  Get on the ball – now.  If you’re firing on all cylinders, good for you:  Be certain to stay that way with the evolving plans, policy, training, and activities that will keep you there.

“It’s the year 2011, we’ve got all kinds of technology, we’ve got an administration that tweets for God’s sake, but we cannot manage to get tax bills out, and money is so desperately needed in this community; that’s a problem,” says Brown.


NP:  Todd Rundgren, Runt, on original LP.

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