Every election season, here in Hamtramck, there’s one thing you’ll be likely to hear from local candidates.
Candidates are always saying how important it is to attract businesses, and encourage economic development.
Despite these claims, we’ve seen time and again elected officials and others putting up barriers for businesses to actually flourish.
The marijuana dispensaries, for example, still face constant backlash from some who think their product is immoral or attracts crime. There is no evidence that dispensaries have become crime magnets.
As for what one believes to be immoral or unhealthy to consume, if you don’t like it, don’t use it. That goes for alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, you name it.
Against marijuana? Fine. Don’t use it, but don’t push your morals and objections on others.
And, we should point out, the city’s four dispensaries brought in over $200,000 in taxes and fees last year to Hamtramck. Do you think four food markets produced that kind of revenue stream? Or that four pharmacies (of which this town has plenty) pay that much in taxes?
And then, there are the recent requests by two developers who sought a special kind of tax abatement for their major investments. Unlike tax abatements in the past, these abatements simply freeze property taxes at the current rate for X number of years.
And once that abatement period ends, the city would then be able to collect an increase in taxes, thanks to having a revitalized development.
What in the world would a city have to lose in this deal? Well, if rejected, the city would lose more tax revenue and still have a blighted, dilapidated site.
Yet, we see city officials put up roadblocks time and again. One councilmember, Nayeem Choudhury – who is a businessperson himself – said that, if they keep granting these requests, it would open the door for similar requests by would-be developers.
Oh, what a horror! Hamtramck opening its doors to developers who want to revitalize dilapidated and vacant old buildings.
If Hamtramck wants to be business-friendly, like some candidates campaign for, then we need elected leaders who live up to their promises.
Posted March 17, 2023
March 17, 2023 at 7:54 pm
Short-selling Hamtramck to give the rich tax breaks is an idiotic things to do, especially when there are people willing to pay these “well-connected” developers fair market values for their properties and develop these properties without any tax breaks.