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View Diary: Detroit's EFM: four tax liens in four years (116 comments)

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  •  D or R - it's unconstitutional.. (26+ / 0-)

    One EFM is being prosecuted for defrauding the City of Highland Park, a community in worse shape than Detroit.   Now we have an EFM who is a tax dodger.   All the while, we have to listen to them tell us how smart they are.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:28:15 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I would prefer that the elected officials make... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, dkmich, Sparhawk, Christin

      ..the decisions.

      But have any of the mayoral contenders laid out a plan to plug the 30% hole.

      dkmich, let's say that it is unconstitutional.

      Would you prefer that the elected mayor simply announce that, due to a tax shortfall, all city workers and retirees will immediately see a 40% cut in salaries/benefits/pensions?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:36:50 PM PDT

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      •  First we have Kwame. What a sleeze. (11+ / 0-)

        They found him guilty on 24 out of 30 counts of fraud, extortion, you name it.   He and his pal Ferguson have stolen 100s of millions from the city.  The fed found 4 mil in cash laying around Ferguson's home.   The fed is offering them a deal.  Reduced time for the money.   Ferguson has made 9 (?)  trips to Dubai, Switzerland, etc.   For what if not to stash cash.  

        Secondly the city is also owed a ton of money by everyone - back taxes, parking tickets, place has been too corrupt to both with things like that.  If they had a decent Mayor and collected the debt, it would help - a lot.  

        AFCSME has also offered a plan to cut labor costs, sort of the UAW did with the big three.  Nobody will look at it because nothing but the EFM is on the agenda.  

        Yes, there are problems.   But you just can't declare yourself king - just because.  

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:45:00 PM PDT

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        •  How is it unconstitutional? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Cities exist and have their own powers because the state charters them.  It's not unconstitutional to put conditions on that devolution of power.  

          Don't use "unconstitutional" as a synonym for "things I really don't agree with."  

          •  To take away someone's duly elected (5+ / 0-)

            representation?   Well hell.  Let's declare the country needs and EFM and do away with Obama and Congress.  

            If that isn't unconstitutional it ought to be.  The only reason they are reluctant to go after it in the courts is because our courts are also stacked with Republicans and Teapots.

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:04:56 PM PDT

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            •  I must have missed how (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep, sydneyluv

              Detroit voters lack the power to vote for Governor and other state officials.  Oh wait, they still do.  The state has power over cities, which only exist because the state law creates it.  There's nothing unconstitutional about it.  And if Detroit doesn't get any better, then I suspect that there will be a higher turnout at the next gubernatorial election and Snyder will be replaced.

              •  The state can disenfrancise them? n.t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul, jcrit

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by dkmich on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:23:32 PM PDT

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                •  What disenfranchisement? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  If I live in an unincorporated area--like many outer suburbs of Detroit, am I disenfranchised because no city has been organized for me to have a smaller, more local level of government?  

                  The people in Detroit have the power to vote for state officials.  They are not disenfranchised.  The state officials could entirely disincorporate Detroit if it wanted to, and just run it directly.  Or more likely, have Wayne County run it.  To use the business metaphor, Detroit is a subsidiary entity of Michigan, and everyone in Detroit can vote for the CEO who has the power to manage the subsidiary.  

        •  you'd know better than I, but hasn't one of the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          proposed "solutions" over the years for Detroit's revenue woes been to make the entire Tri-County area (the suburbs) one big tax district, thereby using taxes from surrounding cities to fund services in Detroit proper?

          That hardly seems like a fair proposal.  That, too, would on some level be taxation without representation.

          Detroit's problems are so deep and intractable, I don't see any path forward besides bankruptcy.  And that will be one huge bankruptcy.  

          The city never really recovered from the riots of 1967, which opened the floodgates of White Flight to the surrounding suburbs north of 8 Mile Rd.  Then there were the desegregation/school busing attempts...and finally the election of Coleman Young.  

          When he made the remark in his inaugural speech...

          I issue a forward warning now to all dope pushers, to all ripoff artists, to all muggers: It's time to leave Detroit; hit Eight Mile Road.
          ...Black people in the city heard a promise to get tough on crime.  White people in the suburbs heard an invitation for inner city criminals to invade the suburbs.

          I think Chicago and NYC have overtaken Detroit, but for decades it has been the most segregated big city in the U.S.  I believe the population today is about 86% Black.

          Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

          by Keith930 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:11:43 PM PDT

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          •  No, just a choice in how to parcel out state power (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Keith930, caul

            The state is the sovereign entity here.  The state runs some subdivisions by itself (counties) and lets others (cities) run themselves.  Either way, it's ultimately the state that makes the rules.  

            There's no taxation without representation. Everyone's allowed to vote for the state officials that make the rules for organizing the political subdivisions.  It wouldn't be unfair at all to just run the entire state as a single "tax district" and equalize, for instance, school resources state-wide, instead of the fucked-up mishmash we have now.  Why should Grosse Pointe have awesome, highly-funded schools and Detroit have overcrowded under-financed schools?  People in both places pay the taxes.

            •  or at least 46% of them do.... n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

              by Keith930 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:32:16 PM PDT

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            •  Can you name any aspiring state politician (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PatriciaVa, FG

              who has advocated such a single statewide tax district and subsequent equalization, and gotten elected?

              Serious question....I don't know.  Perhaps there has been.  Schools are one thing, but when you propose using taxes from Kalamazoo to pay for cops, trash collectors and city road crew in Detroit, I suspect that is a losing platform to run on.

              Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

              by Keith930 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:37:24 PM PDT

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              •  People with better schools (0+ / 0-)

                now have a vested interest in keeping their little piece of the pie away from the hungry folk.  But that doesn't mean it's "undemocratic" for a state to NOT devolve its power to a city, or to reserve the right to fix a city's problems if the city demonstrates an inability to do so.  That's my point.

                •  question (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  do you really think the governor and state house in MI is interested in truly fixing Detroit?  It apparently hasn't worked anywhere else but in one small community in southwest MI, which apparently was able to come out of needing an emergency financial manager.

                  How is taking a hundred dollars worth of food from hungry kids or from old poor sick people equal to taking a hundred dollars from billionaires? -- howabout, 19 Dec 2012

                  by billlaurelMD on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:32:18 PM PDT

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                  •  If they're trying to destroy Detroit (0+ / 0-)

                    Then Snyder made an odd pick, going with a Democrat who helped give the President one of his signature accomplishments (saving the auto industry).

                    Ultimately, I don't know Snyder's motives.  Seems logical that it's a ploy to shore up reelection.  Right now, he's going to lose.  He has to do something.  If Detroit isn't fixed, it's not like Snyder's going to lose more votes from there.  He didn't get any last time to speak of.  And he can still claim that he's "doing something" about Detroit, for the dog-whistle crowd.

                    And if Detroit does turn around, then he'll take the credit.  Maybe even pick up 10% of the Detroit vote and a lot of independents.  It's really win-win for him.

                    I think self-preservation is more likely the explanation for the EM appointment than straight-up mustache-twirling evil.

        •  Elected Governor and elected legislature did it. (0+ / 0-)

          If ppl in MI don't like it, they can elect smb else. I understand that you're pissed that the rest of MI ends up deciding things for Detroit. But if it ends up paying Detroit's bills, it could have some say in the matter. I'm not claiming that this particular approach is the right one but apparently leaving Detroit to its own devices doesn't work either.

        •  How about full jail time and he gives back the $. (0+ / 0-)

          Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

          by ZenTrainer on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

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      •  The mayor and city council already announed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peptabysmal, DuzT, antirove

        the cuts. Two 10% wage cuts and 30% health care responsibility.
        They want more: pension fund, water dept, Belle Isle and the breakup of the unions so they can privatize all services and unemploy our  residents.

      •  What are the criteria you use to determine when (0+ / 0-)

        it is ok to abandon democracy? Just trying to get a handle on where you draw that line. What if the hole were only 25%? 10%?

        Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

        by hazzcon on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:38:59 AM PDT

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    •  That's only after Granholm refused to testify (0+ / 0-)

      If Blackwell shouldn't have paid himself his "salary", why didn't Granholm testify to that effect in court, or an affidavit, or something.  The Governor is the boss of the EFMs and was not held accountable in the Highland Park case.  

      If anything, this should be a lesson for Orr.  If Orr is sued, as he eventually will be (whether or not it's justified), Snyder will not have his back and the wheels of justice will insure that Orr is on his own.  

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