From a Detroit retiree, February 22, 2014
78,000 Buildings Do Not Need to be Demolished
1) Not that many dangerous buildings exist in the City. Many buildings are blighted, but not dangerous and abandoned as required to be demolished, and therefore will not qualify for demolition.
2) The City will not need or use $520 million to demo whatever number of dangerous building that need demolition as Federal Block Grants and State Funds are used to demolish dangerous buildings – NOT CITY TAX DOLLARS.
3) When buildings are demolished, the City require the property owners to pay the full cost of demolition (if the owners are deceased or can not afford to pay, the city will take the property and sell it.) This is what happened recently when the City gave the Illitch the land to build a new hockey stadium.
4. The State, the Wayne County Treasury, HUD, V.A. and Planning and Development Dept. currently owns many of the dangerous buildings in Detroit. In the recent past the City demolished many of the Government owned buildings which were demolished at tax payers expense. We should not be required to pay for the demolitions of these buildings and we must demand the government stop maintaining dangerous building INCLUDING SCHOOLS and pay for the demolitions of their buildings.
5) Keep in mind that as Mayor Duggan continues to improve the image of Detroit. Property owners will start to improve the property as the property values rise. Also with a strong property maintenance enforcement program owners will repair the buildings.
An important note: As we demolish buildings as opposed to requiring owners to repairs their buildings, we will erode the tax base.
6) Keep in mind when the city requires owners to eliminate the blighted conditions the owners are issued tickets which require them to pay fines which will fully cover the cost of the enforcement programs.
Dangerous buildings programs and blighted property maintenance programs are NOT PAID BY CITY TAX DOLLARS but are PAID BY FEDERAL GRANTS AND STATE FUNDS and also paid by the owners of the blighted properties – NOT BY RETIREES.
7) In closing: We SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO TAKE A 26% – 34% PAY CUT.
We are requesting to see the current salaries of Mayor Duggan’s Appointees and further demand that they take the same pay cut as we are being forced to take but first lets make sure the appointees are not making higher salaries than when Mayor Bing was in office and if it is higher then first roll back their pay to pre-Bankruptcy filing then demand a 26%-34% pay cut and the same reductions in Health care the retirees are being forced to take.