City officials brace for Poletown tax break request



By Charles Sercombe

          GM is asking Detroit for a tax break on its Detroit-Hamtramck Poletown plant.

          And there is a good bet, said Mayor Karen Majewski, that GM will hold its hand out to Hamtramck for what’s formally called a tax abatement.

          Hamtramck earns about $1.5 million a year from the plant in a special deal with Detroit. A very small portion of the sprawling plant resides on the Hamtramck side of the border with Detroit.

          GM is seeking a $1.8 million abatement from Detroit to help offset costs to build a $121 million logistics center at the plant site.

          It’s unclear what will happen to Hamtramck’s portion of the tax collection if Detroit agrees to GM’s request.

          The tax break couldn’t come at a worse time for both cities. Detroit and Hamtramck are under the control of emergency managers who are trying to get each respective city out of a financial crisis.

          GM is also no stranger to financial hard times as it had to be bailed out by the U.S. government a few years ago. The future of the Poletown plant had been a concern until GM recently announced it would expand production there to accommodate the new Volt.

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