June 2, 2009

Michigan braces for GM fallout

Michigan municipalities are bracing for plant closings expected in the wake of General Motors Corp.'s bankruptcy filing, city and town officials said.

Along with 8,900 individual jobs lost in the state, tax revenues will decline sharply and the call for social services should rise as part of the fallout that only counts GM-owned facilities, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

Others businesses, such as auto part suppliers and dealerships are also expected to close, the News said.

Oakland County alone expects property taxes will decline by $80 million a year through 2012. Ypsilanti Township could lose 4.4 percent of its taxes, which came from the Willow Run transmission plant, where 600 workers lost their jobs Monday.

The plant also paid $3.8 million in annual taxes to Washtenaw County, covering a variety bills for local schools, libraries and public programs.

In Pontiac, about one-fifth of its $50 million general fund will disappear due to plants closing there, financial manager Fred Leeb said.

In the latest round of cuts, half the 14 plants GM will close are in Michigan. About 42 percent of the 21,000 job cuts take place in the state, the News said.