Last week, the city received good news.
Hamtramck, like 1,500 other communities in Michigan, is in line to receive federal dollars from the stimulus bill.
We’re getting $2.1 million – not a tremendous amount in the big picture of things, but welcomed nonetheless.
However, the bad news is that, because of the pandemic, the city has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenues. If we’re lucky, the stimulus may – at least, almost – balance the losses from last year.
But there’s more bad news.
As we have been mentioning for the past few months, the city will continue to operate in a budget deficit because of the rising cost of pensions.
In another attempt to stave off financial chaos, the city is seeking voter approval to pass a millage to cover the cost of just police and fire retirees.
It’s a longshot at best. Voters already gave that millage proposal a “thumbs down” last November.
City officials have no other choice but to try and try again to reason with voters. That’s because, if the city were to miss a pension payment – which is a real possibility – there will likely be a court-ordered tax judgment that will be much harsher than the 10 mill-increase being proposed.
Hamtramck can rejoice at receiving a modest financial helping hand – but it certainly does not ease the ongoing financial crisis.
Posted March 26, 2021