City employees dodged a bullet last week, but we don’t blame them if they remain skeptical.
It was announced last week that it was likely that employees would not receive their pay this week because there simply wasn’t enough money to cover payroll.
When we went to press last Thursday, the city had a little over $34,000. It needed to cover a $300,000 payroll.
Well, city officials were able to scramble and come up with the money to cover the cost. The city’s district court’s $190,000 monthly payment was unexpectedly bigger than usual.
The Income Tax Department came up with more money now that taxes are due.
Detroit officials agreed to an early payment of about $500,000 from a shared tax fund for the GM Poletown plant.
Those were one-of-a-kind payments the city didn’t expect to receive.
Some employees we talked to last week said that they have heard city officials warn of pending payless paydays so many times, only to find out that enough money was found to make good on the payment.
To them, it’s an ongoing occurrence of the proverbial boy crying wolf.
But make no mistake, Hamtramck’s financial crisis is very real. Sooner or later, city officials will run out of revenue streams to take money from. Heck, all municipalities are now struggling to make ends meet ever since Gov. Snyder cut state revenue sharing.
On top of that, the value of housing went way down, meaning Hamtramck and hundreds of other communities collect less in property taxes.
While city employees can rejoice in being able to pay their own bills this week, everyone needs to save up for the inevitable.