State Of Michigan Continues To Fail Detroit By Refusing To Confirm Millions Owed To The City, And Collect This Money From Debtor Corporations
Governor’s appointees push city further into debt as companies skip out on the tax bill and leave workers to pick up the tab
DETROIT, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Detroit Coalition of Labor Unions — The State of Michigan continues to fail the citizens of Detroit as media reports surface showing the city losing out on millions of dollars in uncollected property taxes owned by corporations.
“There are more than a dozen people serving on the financial advisory board, the legal team, the accounting team and in the mayor’s office,” said Ed McNeil, chairman of the Detroit Coalition of Labor Unions. “More importantly, the state-mandated accounting firm Ernst & Young has been knee deep in the City’s finances for more than a year. And still, none of these experts in finance, business and law can help the city do something as simple as collect millions of dollars in taxes and fees from the city’s leading corporations. Their failure is pushing the city further into debt and costing employees their jobs.”
The Detroit Free Press broke the story that leading companies from the owners of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings to the owners of the State Fairgrounds owe millions of dollars in property taxes from as early as 2003. Many companies are disputing their tax bills and attributing the tax snafus to sloppy book keeping by the city.
Still after months of having state appointees in place, confusion reigns over which corporation owes what in back taxes with no resolution in sight. In the meantime, while some companies skip out on their debt, workers pick up the tab with layoffs, unpaid furlough days and cuts in healthcare.
“Now the state is talking about appointing an emergency manager when they can’t even demonstrate improvements with all the people, companies and boards they put in place with a consent agreement,” said McNeil. “Instead of appointing another state bureaucrat to mess things up even more, they should take that money and put it back in staffing the finance department so the city can collect what is owed, as we used to do when we were fully staffed. These workers pay for themselves many times over in the revenue they bring in. The catastrophe we see now was worsened when the state told the City to reject the union contract this past spring, which would have brought 86 revenue-generating employees to work. The City needs less state involvement, not more.“
SOURCE Detroit Coalition of Labor Unions