I am conflicted. As a resident of Wayne County I know that I should be doing everything I can to encourage business to stay and flourish in Wayne County. As I have just become a major stockholder in GM, I now have other considerations to take under advisement.
Right now Detroit and Warren are having a disagreement over where the Headquarters of General Motors should be located. First lets look at the taxes. Mayor Bing and Executive Ficano are proposing a tax free zone for the Renaissance Center. While, The City of Warren has offered a 30 year abatement if GM moves its headquarters to the GM Tech Center.
If lower taxes are good for GM, why are they not good for everyone else? The small businesses that will suffer or be put out of business because of automotive downsizing are sure to need propping up. There is also the average taxpayer to consider, who must pick up the burden for the hole that exists in revenue left by the break given to businesses.
I know that as consumers we are paying them anyway, but somehow if you don't pay them directly they seem less harmful and there is still the possibility that they will not pass the break on.
Then there are the employees. Would they rather go into Downtown Detroit and pay a fortune for parking?
Or, would they rather park in the huge parking lot at the Tech Center? If they wish to live near work, would they rather live in Detroit with poor services and inadequate schools ? Or, live in Warren where schools and services are not so bad and their spouses will not have to pay the 2.5% resident income tax? That is if they work.
How about property values? Would you rather invest in housing which will continue to decline under present tax rates and exiting population? Or, in property which will very likely appreciate in the future?
The Detroit News has given you an opportunity to vote on the question of whether they should stay in Detroit or move to Warren. I am torn on the question to be sure. It isn't easy being a business owner in Michigan.
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