Monday, July 31, 2006

Detroiters' Efforts Pay Off

Detroiters' efforts pay off: Council approves tax relief

The Detroit City Council made it official on Friday. They approved a plan to cut property taxes in 25 of Detroit's neighborhoods.

Warrendale isn't one of the neighborhoods that will receive these benefits. Regardless, I'm excited about it - just not for any of the usual reasons that people have talked about in news reports.

The important thing, in my opinion, isn't that this will stem Detroit's declining population or anything like that. Quite frankly, I have serious doubts as to whether or not this will have a significant impact in Detroit's population trends.

I believe the most important aspect of this is that is proves that the efforts of a relatively small group of Detroiters can have a signifant impact on public policy. If people in neighborhoods like East English Village can convince the City to find away around an $8 million expenditure, folks in Warrendale should be able to convince Mayor Kilpatrick and the City Council to start taking public safety much more seriously.

We reached the point where it's a newsworthy event when there's only 1 or 2 drug deals happening in Warrendale at any given moment. In spite of that, the number of police officers who are assigned to the narcotics and gang units is embarrassingly small.

Illegal dumping is rampant and very little is done about it.

If folks in places like Rosedale Park or East English Village can convince the Mayor and City Council to give them an $8 million tax cut, we ought to be able to convince them to spend half that much on improving the City's response to drug dealers and dumpers.


canoecarver said...

I'm just a little confused about one thing. If taxes are cut, how can we expect our city. along with its supposed declining population, to fund an increased narcotics response team, as well as more police officers, in addition solving the community's issue of blight and dumping? As Grandma always said, "You get what you pay for." It seems a little ridiculous to celebrate tax cuts and in the same breath, expect more services.

Secondly, I was watching a PBS program on local (Detroit) real estate. Detroit is one of the few communities in southeastern Michigan with a growing housing market, which would imply an increasing population, unless of course, it is only involving local residents.

nocturnalicious said...

I think the idea of cutting taxes is that by giving residents relief it will encourage more residents to actually PAY. Detroit has a BIG problem with residents who are either late paying or just aren't able to pay at all. So yes, initially, the city is taking a proposed hit on estimated taxes, but the city may gain more actual cash by giving a tax break and having more residents being able to pay. I know from experience that when I bought my house in Warrendale in Nov 04 that I received sticker shock when I received my first tax bill!

rs said...

Cut expenses, cut property taxes, expect more people to move in and stem the population loss! Detroit will be the first city in U.S. that once dropped below 1 million people and thereafter bounced back to have more than 1 million people! Haha!