Warren mayor a sore loser
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has filed suit to halt the voter-approved elimination of the state's personal property tax. The tax, which applies to physical properties owned by businesses, constitutes an important chunk of Warren's budget, Fouts says, and the mayor has little faith that the funds supplied by a state use tax will measure up. Manufacturing businesses, which Warren plays host to, pay the bulk of the tax.
Fouts claims that the suit won't cost the city and money, and that city attorney David Griem would work the case pro bono, but every case in the legal system costs taxpayers money. And on this matter, taxpayers and voters have spoken, choosing to eliminate the tax during the Aug. 5 election by more than a 2-1 margin. Even Warren voters, the people Fouts was elected to represent, approved the tax's repeal. There was not a county in Michigan that failed to support the measure. Drop the lawsuit, Mayor Fouts.
Missions are yielding benefits
It's not always easy to judge the success of a business trip, but it's obvious that Gov. Rick Snyder's travels to attract investors from China and elsewhere are paying dividends.
Snyder finished his fourth trip to China this week. An example of the governor's success was the formal signing, during the excursion, of an agreement between Michigan and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) whose STEC USA subsidiary will locate a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Madison Heights. The $15 million operation is expected to create 176 jobs. SAIC is China's largest original equipment manufacturer and has invested more than $100 million and created more than 1,000 jobs in Michigan.
In recent years, investments from Chinese companies in Oakland County alone have doubled from 25 to more than 50.
If Michigan's economy is to continue to grow, more investments like this are needed.
Cuts helped revive Pontiac
After more than a decade of diminishing prosperity, Pontiac is starting to show signs of resurgence. Especially over the past few years, the city has experienced significant financial restructuring under several emergency managers.
Pontiac has cut its annual budget nearly in half and shed millions in debt. It has trimmed hundreds of workers from the city's payroll and privatized public services. It even contracts with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for police protection.
Now there are indications the city's recovery is real. Officials are reporting nearly $300 million in new investment, including major efforts within the downtown business district that developers hope will bring in young professionals.