Hey Detroit, How About Incentives for Those Loyal To You
All across Detroit, it seems that many of those who have invested the most in the city are feeling as if local government regards them the least.
First, local grocers expressed anger at not being offered the same tax incentives used to lure Whole Foods into the city.
Now, as news that Dave Bing's effort to lure cops into the city by selling them nice houses for cheap is floundering, many residents say they feel the failing program represents yet another slight to those who've already made their home in the city.
Turner said the city does little to help struggling Detroiters become homeowners. Turner said he recently helped three families buy $500 homes from the Wayne County treasurer's tax foreclosure auction. Neighbors pitched in to make the homes habitable.
"Dave Bing has to realize he's not mayor of downtown, Midtown and select neighborhoods," Turner said. "It's a great idea, but the way they are carrying it out makes everyone else feel abandoned again."
Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said he's heard similar complaints from residents: "You have to offer some incentives to folks who do live here. I don't see anything for them."
For months now, the theme of austerity has dominated city politics. From the City Council to the Mayor's office, much of Detroit's leadership has been trying to best each other in the race to see who can cut costs the deepest. Meanwhile, as services worsen along with many residents' moods, those who have made a conscious choice to build families and businesses within Detroit watch as the city appears to open its arms the widest to those without.
No one's saying don't give the big grocery chain a tax break or non-resident cops a cheap house. (Though eliminating the latter might not be the worst idea.) But for too many of those who've held down the fort in Detroit for years, decades, Bing and the rest of the city's leadership has offered nothing in the way of a reasonable return on their investment.