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Posted on Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 7:31 a.m.

Don't let Michigan cities die the death of a thousand cuts; let's raise revenues

By Guest Column

At the March 19 public forum in Ann Arbor on the emergency manager law there were four speakers: the gentlemen who manages emergency managers, an advocate to repeal the E.M. law, an E.M. from Benton Harbor, and the mayor of Flint.

All of the discussions were civil and cordial. The overlord manager of all emergency managers approached the topic from the need to restructure the finances of failing communities. The advocate for repeal based his remarks on the issue of disenfranchising voters by removing the authority of the officials they elected, thereby denying the citizens direct access to the decision maker(s) who will restructure the finances.


Joseph Harris, left, the emergency manager in Benton Harbor, and Dayne Walling, the mayor of Flint, chat before a March 19 panel discussion hosted by the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Ryan Stanton |

The E.M. from Benton Harbor shared his experiences of being on the cutting edge of the financial realities in Benton Harbor. Flint's mayor traced the fairly constant disintegration of the finances in Flint, due to loss of citizens, loss of taxes due to reduced assessments due to loss of market value of the homes, and the loss of big employers like GM factories now vacant or demolished.

What struck me was that each was approaching the issue from a different perspective, like four blind individuals describing an elephant by touching different areas of the animal. All four of the men were honest in their positions, and all four were right.

Two issues led the discussions: loss of revenue and the needs to cut expenditures.

The revenue loss came from many sources: loss of population, drop in property values, loss of commercial and industrial tax base, and decrease in revenue sharing from the state legislature.

Cutting expenses included asking or imposing reductions in wages and benefits, cutting services altogether, layoffs, consolidation of services like police officers who double as firefighters.

Cities in distress don't have the authority to impose or raise city income tax. Revenue from the State of Michigan continue to dwindle. Many businesses and individuals are not paying their taxes at all, and there are not sufficient resources in place to take the scofflaws to task for their non-payment.

The discussion ended before any amount of brainstorming could take place that might bring the financial picture into balance.

My thoughts: Slim down State of Michigan employment by going to a part-time unicameral legislature that can not accept any campaign contributions from lobbyists. • Raise the beer tax.

• Tax tickets and refreshments at sports venues, both college and professional.

• Reverse the $ 1.8 billion tax cut to corporations.

• Bring back the movie making incentive program to its pre-Snyder level.

• Raise sales tax to 7% or 8% , and give rebates to low income families to zero out any increase from them. Increasing the sales tax would fix the roads and increase employment in repairing the overall infrastructure.

• Tax beverages sold in vending machines.

• Tax in home installations of appliances and/or home repairs

• Taxes haircuts and beauty parlor visits.

I am a proponent of raising revenue rather than allowing the state and its citizens to die the death of a thousand cuts.

Thomas W. Donnelly is a resident of Canton Township.



Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

Someone is not in touch with reality? You can raise taxes as Mr. Donnelly proposes but since the State's population has dropped shouldn't the size of city and state government shrink with the population? Look at Detroit, It was run as a city of 1.5 million people even though it has not been there since the 1970's. Smaller populations require less government and better people to run it!


Tue, Apr 3, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

Repeal the E.M. law and end state revenue sharing to all cities. Big city mayors do not want to disenfranchise their voters. Which is another way to say they want business as usual. State revenue sharing insulates voters from their bad decisions. If they want to elect incompentent and corrupt leaders then let them suffer the consequences. The people will eventually vote with their feet and move to cities that are better managed.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

When a business figures out that it has fewer customers, it either restructures or it dies. What we're seeing with many cities in Michigan is that they have far fewer residents but are structured to serve many more. Detroit, for example, has vast areas that are thinly populated yet still has to serve them with lighting, water, sewer, police, fire, etc. Mayor Bing proposed a process for moving the remaining people out of these areas and into more populated areas and reconfiguring services accordingly and got blasted for it. Emergency managers don't have to worry about getting re-elected. They don't have to worry about raising re-election money from the very unions they have to negotiate with to reduce expenses. Again looking at Detroit as the example, they've kicked this can down the road for 30 years. The population trend became apparent in the 70s, yet they never faced up to it. They've borrowed their way to balanced budgets every year. One comment on this notion of the "tax cut to corporations". I hear this all the time. What the legislature did was end the DOUBLE TAXATION of closely-held corporations. Under the prior tax structure profits were taxed at the corporate level and then the VERY SAME PROFITS were taxed to the owner with no credit for the tax paid at the corporate level. That is no way to encourage business to start or grow in this state.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Privatise their services! Trash collection in the townships cost $45 for 3 months, for example. Much cheaper than AA where we pay high taxes for "city services", then have to pay rent on the garbage and recycle cans.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Excuse me, however, no more tax increases until the state government becomes more fiscally responsible with how they spend the current taxes that are being sent to the state. And, I would suggest that there be no more freebes for representatives, i.e. pension, health, etc. All the rest of the community have to pay for these items, have to work a good length of time before we can receive pensions, so should they.

J Galt

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

The basic problem is these"cities" no longer legally qualify as cities. They have lost the population and tax base to support a city structure. Next step should be, revert them to Township status, and eliminate services they can't afford. First step should be bankruptcy. You cannot afford to live like a King when you have no Kingdom to support your lifestyle.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 10:35 a.m.

The usual democratic approach the rich to give to the poor ...sorry Mr Donnelly this isn't Sherwood forest..I didn't get Detroit, Flint , Benton harbor etc.into the economic pit of hell, incompetenceny did ..why should my hard earned $$ be taken to reward it....that's the obama approach and I don't buy it ..rewarding bad behavior doesn't solve the problem it only puts another band aid on a cancer that needs drastic treatment to recover assuming it's not too late in the first place.....


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

You can't get blood from a stone....

Basic Bob

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

The author's main point was to discredit the speakers at the public forum and present his personal and arbitrary opinion as superior to any that might come from the four professionals working together. Regardless of whether he agrees with Deputy State Treasurer Roger Fraser, to refer to him simply as "the overlord manager of all emergency managers" only discredits the rest of the commentary. Especially in an Ann Arbor forum, where people are familiar with Mr. Fraser's past work.

Jay Thomas

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Socialists would never be in favor of restricting spending (except military spending) so they are naturally against emergency managers. Such managers can actually make the hard choices necessary to balance budgets (like the Benton Harbor E.M.) which democrats simply can't because they are beholden to the unions. Naturally the democrats would rather print up a zillion dollars at the federal level to fill gaps in city and state budgets, even if it results in more inflation (the hidden tax) hurting everyone (especially seniors whose incomes will not keep up).


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

When I look at our national government I see exactly what you are saying, the current administration is leading this country to its end.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Amazing isn't it....This is exactly the socialism that our government in Washington DC is shoving down our throats......Obama is way ahead here.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

Oh for crying out loud, the country is going down due to poor leadership and some are just ignoring it. Good luck with not seeing the comparison.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

Oh for goodness sake! This has nothing to do with the president. I understand if the complex nature of the problems faced by Michigan cities is too much to comprehend, but to constantly turn everything into an "us vs them" political statement in order to make it simpler to grasp isn't very useful.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

Wait....raise in incfease taxes? Are you kidding? That's like giving an alcoholic a beer. These cities don't deserve a dime of additional revenue [our tax dollars] until they address thir own graft, corruption, poor management and incompetence. The only reason there is discussion of an Emergency Manager is because they've proven they can't The disenfranchisement of votes was perpetrated by Coleman Young, Kwame Kilpatrick and others who treated Detroit as their own personal piggy bank. Wow...they screw up so we need to cough up more money so they can screw up more. Hello? The City of Detroit is $20 BILLION with a "B" in debt for cry'n out loud!


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

Give them nothing and force them to learn.....that is the only way it will work.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Correction: "...millions IN lost property taxes..." Sorry.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

So now every city in the state is rife with corruption and fraud? Why is Detroit the brush with which all cities are painted? Is Ypsilanti full of fraud and corruption? Rochester? Kalamazoo? Traverse City? Without a revenue stream to replace the millions of lost property taxes, even model cities and townships full of intelligent and ethical public servants are going to go, or are already going, broke. What is your solution? Detroit and Wayne county government are cesspools of sickening fraud and illegal activities full of pathetic individuals who have never done an honest day's work in their lives and would most likely starve if prevented from stealing from taxpayers. Now what? What about the rest of the state?


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

This is the worst opinion piece I think I have ever read. First the use of the word "overlord," a little to middle ages I think and the lack of a name. Then referring to four differing perspectives of officials with experience calling them "blind." "Cities in distress don't have the authority to impose or raise city income tax." Wrong. Any city can have a city income tax if voters approve. "Many businesses and individuals are not paying their taxes at all, and there are not sufficient resources in place to take the scofflaws to task for their non-payment." A statement like this should never appear in a news article without some factual information to support it. And the answer is just raise taxes on everything that is not taxed already. But the biggest goof here was putting the movie disaster back in place. Nothing but a waste of money paid to movie makers with no viable return.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

Let's talk about taxes that most people pay but don't think about. The ones that quietly get raised: 1) Cable TV franchise fees (about $4 a month) 2) Telephone excise taxes (about $2 a month) 3) 911 fees 4) Water and Sewer fees 5) Electric franchise fees 6) Electric excise taxes 7) Electric and gas heating pool for the poor who cannot pay their bills in the winter 8) Sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel 9) Drivers license fees 10) License plate fees 11) Gas franchise fees 12) Telephone (land line) franchise fees 13) The County property tax that was passed by the County Board rather than being voted, based on a 100 year old law 14) Taxes on tires, motor oil and parts for cars 15) The tax on tackle boxes and fishing gear 16) The taxes on hunting gear 17) Hunting license fees 18) Bridge tolls 19) Unemployment taxes 20) etc.... My wife and I went through our bills one weekend a year ago getting ready for federal taxes and realized that we pay over 50 "hidden" taxes, that we don't even think about. Taxes are like .... Everyone seems to have one.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

First of all, Individuals don't pay any unemployment taxes - businesses do. Taxes on hunting gear, tackle boxes, fishing gear, tires, motor oil, and parts for cars only include sales taxes like most products, so I'm not sure why you pulled only them out of the stratosphere?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:29 a.m. can not continue to pay out money you do not have....can you do it in your household? I didn't think do you expect the tax payers to do it? People will suffer but that is life. We can not just keep printing money, unless of course we are Obama.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Pickford, revising pay plans for future employees is fair and reasonable. Promising something to someone for 20 or 30 years, then changing your mind and trying to take it away at the end of their employment is simply and deeply wrong. Those people can't take back those years of work, nor can they save more of their wages. In the case of public safety personnel, they don't even get Social Security. Last time I checked, public officials, and therefore the people who voted them back into office year after year, bear as much responsibility as any other group for the benefits any employees receive.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

Making public employees pay for their own retirement is the best way....due away with tax payers footing the bills for these retired public employees. They are no better than the private sector working people. Cut their benefits now.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

Outlawing for-profit public utilities would be a great start in fixing what's wrong with the infrastructure in this state.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Kwami Kilpatric Monica Conyers Bobby Ferguson Sam Riddle Robert Ficano Key Everett John Clark William Hart Charles Beckham Victor Mercado Derrick Miller ...and of course hizzzoner the illustrious and ever confrontational Coleman Young. Who the hostile suburbanites could never get anything to stick to. NO THANKS. No more money from me down that rat hole. Let it rot.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

I wonder if this Tom Donnelly is the same one who used to live and be involved in local government in Genesee County?


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

I'm waiting for the governor to do what he promised, which is to streamline and lessen the cost of state government. There are tens of millions to be saved by eliminating waste, eliminating departments and restructuring the functions of a number of state agencies, and that money should then be redirected to the municipalities from which it came. By and large, most local units of government are as lean as they can be. Continued cutting will result in continued population loses, which just perpetuates decline. A part-time, uncorrupted state legislature is a good start. The governor need to turn his attention to the fat in state government, while at the same time directing more of the money he's "saving" back to local units of government.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

I agree with the idea of going to a part time legislature in Michigan. Not because it would save any money, that would be peanuts. But because our legislature - whether controlled by the D's or the R's, is a *major* part of our problems in Michigan.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

@anarboran: You, the writer of this opinion piece and anyone else who thinks Detroit just needs more money are free to send them as much as you would like. I'm sure JoAnn Watson or any of the other city council members would be more than happy to cash your check. As for me I think it's time for some "tough love" in Detroit and any governor or state official who gives this corrupt bunch a dime more will never have my vote again.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Bruceae, not everything in this state revolves around Detroit. You are right, but we can't let the entire state crumble just so we can make sure Detroit doesn't get any more money to waste. Independent financial oversight is all but assured now in Detroit; it's just a matter of when. The rest of the state needs more revenue sharing to survive.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

This issue is about much more than just Detroit. Most local communities now need additional revenue in order to begin reinvesting in things that help all residents. As for Detroit, no, I don't think the city just needs cash. I think Detroit in particular needs major reform. I actually agree with Snyder's goal of having an independent financial oversight board that would have control over the budget and major operations. That is the single most important thing that helped turn NYC around and I think it's key to turn Detroit around too. Now, on top of that, I do also think the state needs to restore some of the revenue sharing cuts they've imposed on Detroit, so some new cash is part of the solution. But it should be under the control of a new decisionmaking authority.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

C'mon people, this anti-tax, anti-gov't drivel is just silly. Michigan USED to be a high-tax state, but it no is. Michigan is a middle-of-the-road state in terms of tax burden, we rank #21 out of 50. And this data is from the very conservative Tax Foundation: I am middle of the road on all of these issues. Yes, there was a day when taxes were too high. There was a day when public employees had it too good. Those days are gone. Taxes are not too high now, if anything they are too low, and that is preventing us from *investing* in ourselves and our communities. As for public employees, I think things are about right now in terms of having them pay more for their own health care and retirement benefits. Keeping pressure on this front is fine with me, but a great deal of progress has been made across the state in the last few years. Now, the business tax cuts are way out of line. Businesses are not taxed too much in Michigan, and they've gotten a GREAT deal out of Michigan's policymakers in the last year. It is time to raise taxes SOMEWHAT. Not a huge increase, but a bit. You know we are about 6 BILLION dollars below our constitutional limit in tax revenues in Michigan? That is $6B per year! Raising taxes It is PART of the solution going forward. For crying out loud we are a middle of the road state on most issues, it is time for truly shared sacrifice and shared growth.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Counties and cities depend on property taxes. The rate of mills assessed in Ann Arbor is already very high. As property values recover, tax receipts by county and city government will also increase. I have no appetite for additional mills, especially since I know that the value of my house is now increasing after 3 years of decreases. It makes no sense to finance county and local government largely on the backs of property owners.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

I disagree that the business taxes are out of line. It is exactly the opposite. States with low business taxes are the ones that are drawing business. That and being an workers rights state. I will point out that Michigan's income tax is quite low as well as the sales tax compared with other states. In some states, like Ohio, some local units of government can add to the sales tax, a percent or so, which I would not oppose if a city wanted to get approval from its citizens.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

People are, for the most part, paying less in federal and state taxes than at any time since the Reagan and then Clinton administrations. Unfortunately, natural gas, electricity, water, groceries, insurance and gasoline all cost so much more, nobody notices. The pain is real, but the cause is not "taxes."


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

If you have a spending problem, the solution isn't to give the spender more money, the solution is to teach the spender financial responsibility. These emergency workers are only temporary, if you really want the programs they cut, then just restart them! I'm guessing though, that that will not happen as most of these programs were sweet heart deals as payment for political favors from people long gone.

Mike K

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Mr. Donnelly - you sound a little like Paul Krugman. Did you read his piece entitled "Things to Tax"? Here's the link even though this new format renders them inactive. Maybe higher taxation is a short term solution, but the long term solution is increasing commerce within the 50 states, and for us, within Michigan. Commerce is the key to tax revenue generation - always has been. Snyder's plan is at least an attempt to bring commerce to Michigan. Cynics always point out $1.8B to "Snyder's rich buddies, but Milton Friedman said it best right here.

Ron Granger

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

"Raising revenues" is code for "Raise Taxes!" Michigan already has high taxes. I have said for years that anyone still making money in this state will be taxed to death. This is an example. There are many states with much lower tax rates. Why should anyone who can flee Michigan remain? Why should they pay such high taxes? Why should people who do not drive on the roads pay for the roads with higher sales taxes? Why not charge the users of the roads - especially the trucks that do the damage?


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

Michigan is NOT a high tax state anymore, see my post below. Why should all people pay for our roads? Let's see, do you eat food? Do you want fire fighters to be able to get to your house when it is on fire? EMS when you have a heart attack?


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

More money to those who cannot manage it? WRONG. Those in government relied on that answer way too long. Time to manage to their means.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

How is raising taxes going to reverse the flight of population and jobs away from those cities and our whole state for that matter? As all the baby boomers eventually retire, how many of them will be able to afford or want to stay in a cold and cloudy, high tax state, when warmer tax friendly states beckon them? I hope all the "revenue raisers" are committed to staying and retiring in our fair state versus taking their pensions to Florida or Arizona.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

No more taxes, cut the government programs!


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Are you kidding? Cut the gov't programs! Sure, let's cut more cops and fire fighters, although we can't catch the rapists or get enough fire fighters to fires on time already. Let's cut the road maintenance!!! Who needs bridges anyway?


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.

Jon Wax

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

When Detroit goes bankrupt, the suburbs will have to foot the bill. Just like I've been saying. The short answer to the above story = you want the middle class to cover the costs for the lower class, even though most of the criminals that caused the problems that caused the drop in revenue come from the lower class. None of those taxes listed above will hit the lower class because they can't afford any of the things listed above, they are too busy working to get money for gas, rent and food. The rich won't feel any of those taxes because they are both rich and use services well outside of the general public. The middle class is the group that would be most affected by those taxes. By starting down the slippery slope of tax increases, this is just one more example of the war on the middle class that started about 5 years ago or so. Detroit going bankrupt is going to cost us all a lot of money. Peace


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

Not sure what you mean by the suburbs will have to foot the bill it Detroit goes bankrupt. Can you expound on that? Why would suburbs have to pay for Detroit's problems? If they are owed money by Detroit, bankruptcy might dissolve the debt, but I doubt that is the case. And that is why the EM program is much better. The EM can do what cities can't or won't (Detroit's problem) and over time hopefully get back on their feet.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Jon Wax - True, the poor buy no beer, only malt liquor. The poor don't buy hair cuts, they go to spas. The poor never repair their hovels or have any appliances delivered, instead they put the money in their Escalades. I am glad this is April 1st as I write this. Stereotypes of any type just don't work in the real world!


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

How creative, let's raise taxes and call it revenue as if these cities have earned it. I do not see this working as it would reverse the business growth our state has seen in the short time of responsible spending we have recently had. We are seeing business flourish and great growth in this state by not spending more in the public sector than the private sector tax basis can afford. If your idea works, let's have it applied so it can stand on its own. Let's just raise the city taxes (not the state) in the cities that are struggling. Then the responsible cities do not need to cover the bill for the unresponsible ones. We will then quickly see the result of your approach. If your approach works I will say raising taxes is the solution. You speak against lobbying in your opinion piece, but you are really lobbying to take the money from cities that have been responsible with their revenue and give it to poorly managed governments. April fools right....


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Tax, tax tax and spend spend spend your way out of debt , right ? Wrong ! ABO


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

"Tax haircuts and beauty parlor visits" I started cutting my own hair five years ago when my barber went to 18 dollars. Trimmer at Bed Bath and Beyond , 30 bucks. Free haircuts, "priceless". And your idea of taxing the service industry will simply drive even more people to pay cash for services, that is an easy one to get by on. Till government across the board get lean, taxpayers are not going to be willing to pay more in taxes. Thomas W. Donnelly, where have you been the past 10 years ? Your ideas are part of the reason we are where we are at this point in time. Good Day


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

Snoopdog, perhaps you have missed the last decade, but local gov't across Michigan has gotten lean. Is there room for further effort, efficiency, and so on? Yeah, there will always be room for improvement. But we have slashed and burned local gov't across the state, and most local gov'ts have done a very responsible job in terms of adjusting.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

My wife has been cutting my hair for about five years. Didn't make sense to pay someone $15 for such a simple thing. Now the tip gets me a favor!

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

I started cutting my own hair when I finally admitted there wasn't enough up there anymore to justify paying a professional.

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Tom: At what point is the working taxpayer/business that actually produces goods and services that are in demand in other states and foreign markets, dead from "1000 cuts" of revenue enhancements (costs) that their competitors in other states and countries are not facing ? I have to wonder about the purpose of this "COMMENTARY". Isn't this just a re-gurgitation of eight years of J. Granholm talking points? Further, the author is from "Canton Township". Further, his entire "feel good" analysis that the sides are just taking different perspectives, when the reality is that one side on the issue is trying to take the money from the other side, is like calling human services rather than 911 when someone is trying to break into your car. Finally: Tax haircuts and beauty parlor visits....home installations.....if he were to have argued to tax all services, then we might take him seriously...for a moment, but to single out two particular services that he would cause to raise their costs and decrease demand for their services, could certainly be taken by anyone in that business, as a "person attack" of the sort that you would delete if posted as a comment. Chase Ingersoll


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

I would pay more taxes, but the more complex your taxes become the more they shift to the poor, why not just raise the base amount of taxes and then get rid of all of the haircuts/sugar/etc. ones....


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

A unique solution! Raise taxes for those that have not or cannot leave. Ann Arbor city council personnel and city leaders can help with more ideas long these same lines.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

All I see is tax and more tax to solve a debt that continues not only locally but nationally, when will it stop. More programs to help those in need by those who work all their lives to support many not willing to help themselves and yet we continue to give, those that have true disabilities or hardships beyond control and need support yes they do need support but they a few compared to those that can and do not make an effort because the government has enabled them so much that they don't even want to bother. Your unrealistic ideology of taxing more is typical of a generation that everyone should be given entitlements at a whim, if your so entitled that raising revenues maybe you should give more directly to your corrupt leaders so they can continue to squader or hard earn money.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

and yet more and more wealth in the United States is concentrated in fewer and fewer people. I'm not passing judgement just stating a fact.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

April Fools, right?

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

you lost me at "Bring back the movie making incentive program to its pre-Snyder level." that would just compound the problem. A 40%-42% Government subsidy of any business is a broken model. If it really worked why not do it for everybody?


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

Another Granholm scheme to be "cool". As proven by what has happened when the state stopped paying for their business, the producers are mercenaries who go where they can get the best deal. They have no loyalty to any state, only to their dollars. Buying their business makes no sense, especially when local government, schools and other dependents are seeing their funding reduced.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

As a veteran of the movie industry one of the biggest problems with the whole scheme was how many workers were flown in for jobs that Michiganders could do(think on call painter.) The people who benefitted from this were hoteliers. A large subsidy to pay for someone to fly to and from California, a Californian workers wages, and to house them at a hotel, rather then spent on a Michigan worker. Really why not give a large tax break to any transitory industry that dosent need much infrastructure??? We could set up boiler rooms for NY law firms if we really wanted to do this. (you think law firms wouldn't go for Michigan residents paying for 42% of their workforce?)