The PJ Tatler

Video: Under Obama, Will America End Up Like Detroit?

President Obama’s own words — that America was built on the labor movement and that as long he is president he will stand up for “collective bargaining” (i.e. Big Labor power) — are terrifying enough. Like the jobs video posted earlier, this WFI video is devastating.

In the video, Obama says Detroit is “coming back.” Really? Is that why this scam is going on there?

Detroit —Landlord Jeffrey Cusimano didn’t pay property taxes on seven of his east-side rentals for three years, owing the city of Detroit more than $131,800.

Typically, that would mean losing the properties. But Cusimano not only got to keep them — his debt, including interest, fees and unpaid water bills, was virtually wiped free.

Cusimano and a growing number of Detroit property owners are using a little-known loophole to erase tax debt by letting their properties go into foreclosure and then buying them back a month later at the Wayne County Treasurer’s auction for pennies on the dollar.

It’s legal. But that doesn’t mean it’s fair, said homeowner Marilynn Alexander, who lives on Fairmount next door to one of Cusimano’s rentals. The landlord owed $26,200 in taxes and other fees on the bungalow, but bought it back in October for $1,051.

“He shouldn’t be able to get away with that,” said Alexander, a 57-year-old laundry worker who said she scrapes together every year her $1,500 in property taxes at the house where she’s lived for 20 years. “That’s not a fair break to anybody else out here.”

Critics described it as a growing problem as the foreclosure crisis deepens. A record number of properties — nearly 14,300 — are expected to be auctioned this fall, and officials predict more owners will try to buy back their properties.