Hamtramck finally gets an answer

By Charles Sercombe

After waiting months for an audit report from Detroit officials about a long-simmering dispute over shared tax revenues from GM’s Poletown plant, Hamtramck finally got an answer.

But city officials had to read about it in a Detroit Free Press story.

Go figure.

A few weeks ago, Hamtramck filed a lawsuit against Detroit, saying it was improperly holding back $2 million in tax revenue. Hamtramck officials had been meeting with Detroit officials to straighten out the matter but those talks never went anywhere.

Hamtramck City Manager Bill Cooper said Detroit officials were generally uncooperative and failed to produce a promised audit. Well, Detroit officials finally produced – or at least referenced — an audit in its answer to Hamtramck’s lawsuit, saying Detroit overpaid Hamtramck $7.1 million.

Cooper said that’s hogwash and that Detroit has yet to give Hamtramck a copy of the audit.

“I find it interesting they (Detroit officials) are basing their claim on an audit they told us is not done,” Cooper said.

Not only does Cooper question the audit’s actual existence, he said no matter what, “We totally disagree that they overpaid us.”

Cooper has warned that without the $2 million he says is owed, Hamtramck will be broke come this January and will likely face a state takeover. In the meantime, Cooper said he is withholding water and sewer service payments to Detroit until the matter is resolved.

Cooper added that he will file a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of Detroit’s audit.

“When we get it, we will go over it with a fine-toothed comb,” Cooper said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *