From casual observance our roads appear to be worse than ever. Which is why I am (and you should be) utterly perplexed as to why our state Legislature intends to waste money to cut taxes rather than fix our roads.
Detroit should cut taxes. More specifically, it should eliminate its income tax of 2.4 percent. As part of the city’s plan of adjustment, a formal outline for solvency that was submitted to the federal bankruptcy court in February, it appears the city has other ideas. Namely it intends to collect income taxes from residents known as reverse commuters – people who live in the city but work in other areas. Former Mayor Dave Bing estimated $142 million in income tax revenue went uncollected in 2009, and the city wants that money.
“Colorado Expects to Reap Tax Bonanza From Legal Marijuana Sales” was a headline which appeared in the New York Times over Winter break.
On Feb. 14th, in room 421 of Pray-Harrold, students from the University of Applied Sciences, Kehl, Germany presented their research on local economic development.
In his budget proposal sent to the state Legislature, Gov. Rick Snyder, Republican of the Great Lakes State, requested funds for a 6.1 percent hike in aid to universities. In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, asked for $34 million so that he could waive the cost of tuition for community college.
Every two years, Harvard University’s Institute of Politics plays host to the lucky few who either toppled an incumbent or claimed an open seat and were elected to Congress.
Earlier this month Eastern Michigan University, hosted many events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Good news, finally. The State of Michigan is projected to have a budget surplus, between $971.1 million and $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2014. Followed by this news has been an appropriate question: “What do we do with this money?”
Since the Great Recession, the blame for current misfortunes has been shifted from those who caused it to those who now suffer from it. It has become acceptable to have antipathy for the poor – it has become acceptable to make the worst kind of assumptions about people who are less fortunate.
“Sustainability means being able to balance the budget, providing basic services for public safety, transportation, and business development, and encouraging development of the local resources that are special to the community,” said Paul Schreiber, mayor of Ypsilanti. “In Ypsilanti’s case, this is historic architecture, Eastern Michigan University and the proximity to Ann Arbor.”
Politicians in the states of Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and others have started their courtship of Boeing.
On Dec. 8, Gov. Rick Snyder, Republican of the Great Lakes State, penned an opinion piece for the Detroit Free Press in which he outlined his administration’s involvement in the city of Detroit. The piece was also a rejoinder to an editorial by the Detroit Free Press which called into question his leadership and commitment to the city.
“This is Jack Kemp’s enterprise zones on steroids,” said Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, in his speech before the Detroit Economic Club.
Mayor Paul Schreiber of Ypsilanti has said the city needs to make the transition from a locale that relied on manufacturers to a college town. Many times over I have raised the question of whether or not the city has the money to make the transition. The debt from a real estate purchase that went badly has left the city unable to pay for capital improvements and public services like parks and recreation have been cut. But another important question is what it means to be a college town.
Gov. Rick Snyder, Republican of the Great Lakes State, recently made law a bill that offers property tax relief to veterans. More specifically the law now allows former members of the armed services who are fully disabled to qualify for an exemption from state and local property taxes.
“More than 2 million manufacturing jobs disappeared during the 2007-09 recession,” said a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. A fraction of those jobs disappeared from the city of Ypsilanti when the ACH (Visteon) auto-plant owned by Ford Motor Company closed in 2008.
The World Bank has devised a way to assess the urban competitiveness of a city, a rubric that uses four elements: economic structure, territorial endowment, human resources and institutional milieu.
After the financial crisis, if it was not clear that we live in a worldwide economy, it is clear now. Stories about auto plant closures have been replaced by hysteria over Greece’s debt burden and our own fiscal crises. Local unemployment rates have been put in the context of data from the International Monetary Fund. The whole affair can make local politics seem trivial. And even mayors with considerable renown like Michael Bloomberg of New York, Julian Castro of San Antonio and Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans can seem inert.
To stay with the theme of my previous column, published earlier this week, I would like to share a few TED “talks” for citizens of urban communities. The TED (Technology, Engineering, Design) conference series was started in 1984 as a forum for the hard sciences, but quickly became a forum for all innovative ideas in areas like health care, public-policy and finance.
I’ve chosen four different TED talks that in total could be watched within an hour, and that I would like to share with local officials in the city of Ypsilanti.
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