Detroit is no stranger to the toxification and devastation of automotive industries–even American-owned manufacturers. Nor are the longsuffering residents of Detroit unfamiliar with watching their tax dollars be used to destroy their own communities.
For decades, residents of Detroit have been subjected to higher and higher taxes, watching their schools, libraries, and infrastructure crumble as the mayor lined the pockets of his friends. Last year, a community church in Detroit was forced to pay $40,000 for the rain that fell on its parking lot.
But Detroit is just the testing ground for unfair taxation and community destruction; these same policies which plague Detroit residents are creeping across the rest of the state.
On June 21st, The State House of Representatives passed a package of bills yesterday afternoon that will put more power into the brownfield redevelopment agencies to augment the "transformational brownfield" model created a few years ago. They will now have the power to initiate tax captures, tax increment financing and project worker state income tax captures, all of which is fed to the private property "developers." The vote was 71-38. The package of 5 bills, already approved in the Senate, are SB 129, 130, 131,132 and 289.
Detoiters for Tax Justice is a local grassroots organization which formed in June of 2023 to fight keep unjust taxation and taxpayer-funded developments from destroying communities. As Detroit's boots-on-the-ground grassroots organization fighting corrupt economic development, DTJ are a natural ally to EDRA.
We look forward to collaborating together to defend our Michigan communities!
Detroiters for Tax Justice's mission is to stop the transfer of public money, public land and public assets to private corporations at the expense of our schools, libraries, families and communities.
We live in a time when financially powerful non-residents of our City can dominate our political system in order to extract wealth from taxpayer-funded services and harvest other benefits at our expense to increase their wealth.
They operate under rules and laws written to benefit their power. They can have their property taxes suspended for thirty years but a citizen can lose their home for not paying those taxes for three years. They rule the rules.
The willingness of elected officeholders to embrace these extreme and abusive inequalities requires us to think, educate and act to restore the voice of the people. To Restore Respect. In a City of respected residents, politicians cannot redirect tax dollars approved for one purpose and give that money to wealthy insiders while keeping their dealings secret.
They cannot give millions of dollars of land away to billionaires while cutting pensioners ability to survive. They cannot overtax homeowners while telling rich investors that they do not have to pay property taxes. They cannot strip tens of millions of dollars from education purposes, thus injuring our children's Right to Literacy.
This is justified by contempt and disrespect of the people. Every injustice in world history is justified by contempt of the victims. We will unmask the trail of our money being used against us. The unmasking of these abusive injustices will resonate with the people offended by the dishonesty and hypocrisy that undermines democratic values.
By this process we will empower residents in our City and we will Restore Respect.