In Milwaukee, some landlords are using properties for profit and then leaving after they stop paying taxes. Once they leave, it’s up to the city to sell the homes at low prices or have the taxpayers pay to repair or tear them down, according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the meantime, these same landlords are buying new homes with cash.
When the owner of a property fails to pay taxes for three years, the city will usually seize the home, which erases the tax bill for the owner, though the owner still must pay the fines.
The city filed tax foreclosure suits on 937 properties last year, according to the Journal Sentinel, which eliminated $10.5 million in unpaid taxes for the former property owners.