Recently, the Michigan Legislature approved a package of bills known as the “Detroit Bailout.”
I voted against a number of bills included in the package (House Bills 5573, 5574, 5575 and 5576) that give nearly $200 million of our state tax dollars to the City of Detroit as part of its bankruptcy plan. Michigan taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for decades of corruption and mismanagement in Detroit, while fiscally-responsible communities in my district make sound decisions and live within their means.
Let me be clear that I do believe a strong Detroit makes Michigan stronger and I applaud the new leadership in Detroit for accepting the challenge of turning the Motor City around. But that does not justify giving away hundreds of millions of our state tax dollars to one community. It is poor public policy and sets a bad precedent.
What’s especially troubling is that the bailout spends these millions on Detroit at a time when Michigan roads are crumbling and many politicians are pushing for a gas tax increase to fix them. This simply makes no sense.
Just as the entire State has had to make some tough decisions over the past few years, Detroit must accept responsibility for its situation and take the bold steps needed to move forward towards its best and brightest days yet. Instead of taking these steps, the Detroit Bailout rewards failure, protects special interest groups and shelters their assets, while forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab.
For these reasons, I voted against the Detroit Bailout plan and will oppose any increase in our gas and diesel taxes.