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GM Poletown plant is both good news, bad news

We have spilled a lot of ink in recent months about the GM Poletown plant and what its existence means to Hamtramck.
The plant plays a major role in the city’s finances, to the tune of about $700,000 a year in a special deal in lieu of paying property taxes.
For a brief moment, it looked like GM was going to close down the plant, and that posed a serious potential financial setback for the city. As it turned out, that threat was a ploy to pressure UAW workers to settle their contract strike and come back to work.
Well, the strike did eventually end, but not necessarily because of GM’s announcement that the plant would close.
With the strike settled, everything looked rosy. But then GM announced that the plant would undergo retooling to accommodate the production of electric-fueled vehicles – a technology of the future, industry insiders are saying.
But in order to retool the plant, production would be shut down for up to two years. During this time, according to the special tax deal with the city, GM won’t be paying Hamtramck much of anything.
That means we are back to square one, financially-speaking – at least for the next two years.
So, now city officials are going to have to scramble to find a way around a loss of $700,000 this year and next.
One reader has suggested that GM should be forced to keep paying the city what it normally does, because, well, it’s only fair.
But unfortunately, a deal is a deal.
How this financial challenge will be worked out is still unknown, but we can guarantee that there will be sacrifices that will have to be made.
Feb. 14, 2020

3 Responses to GM Poletown plant is both good news, bad news

  1. Resident

    February 16, 2020 at 9:59 am

    The deal should have included minimum amount which GM must pay regardless of number of employees.

    When this deal was done, the City negotiator failed to consider scenario like this.

    This resident hopes the city learns from this and avoids scenarios like this in future.

    -Resident

  2. Dennis Nowak

    February 16, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Let me get this straight – GM has one of the largest realty properties in the entire City of Hamtramck, they have 22 billion dollars in assets, and they pay ZERO taxes while the plant is undergoing retooling?

    This is absurd!

  3. George Voight

    February 16, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    I love how you used the quote a deal is a deal! Well the city manager and the elected officials know all to well how to break a promised deal! So what comes around goes around.

    Retired Employee

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