Conservative News

Decision Time: DW&SD Rain Tax Comes To A Head In Court

Detroit Water & Sewerage Division Has Colluded With Trial Lawyers To Avoid A Constitutional Test Of Their Outrageous 'Stormwater Fee'

The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s Non Residential Drainage Rate became a political hot potato in 2013 when the City finally started applying this breathtaking, disguised tax to all non residential properties within the City.  Mayor Duggan is scraping the bottom of the barrel for every revenue dollar he can find.

Prior to 2013, the City of Detroit only extracted this rate from 12,000 non residential property owners, although 41,237 non residential property owners should have been paying it. They also extracted this rate from the State of Michigan and Wayne County for roads in Detroit, after a lengthy appeals process which ended in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Detroit shielded politically preferred and connected property owners from this tax for 35 years, notably the politically powerful black churches.  But that ended in 2013 when the City of Detroit “discovered….that there are some errors with respect to our billing of stormwater charges”.

This rate, which is often referred to as a stormwater fee or the rain tax, is not inconsequential. It is now $ 660 – $ 750 per acre, per month. Run of the mill churches with on site parking were rudely surprised with $ 3,500 monthly charges in 2015, on top of their already expensive water bills. They thought as religious entities they were tax exempt. Tee-hee.  No one in Michigan is truly tax exempt!  Michigan Public Act 178 of 1939 (MCL 123.161 et seq.) converts unpaid DW&SD stormwater fees into a property lien, same as unpaid property taxes, so these fees quickly result in property foreclosures.

Ever wonder why Detroit has such a problem with commercial property blight? Now church blight is in the offing.

Non residential property owners in Detroit have just received a legal notice in the mail announcing a proposed settlement of a Wayne County Circuit Court class action case filed by Michigan Warehousing Group LLC and Midwest Valve and Fitting Company against the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department over the DW&SD’s outrageous stormwater fee. This case is identified in the Wayne County Circuit Court as 15-010165-CZ. The parties reached a settlement agreement which is carefully constructed to cripple legal challenges to the constitutionality of the stormwater fee in higher courts and handsomely pay off the trial bar.

The settlement notice fails to inform non residential property owners that another, far more comprehensive class action law suit is progressing in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Detroit Alliance Against The Rain Tax v. City Of Detroit in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Case Number 339176, just got consolidated with a similar suit on 24 October and appears ready for litigation – also as a class action.

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Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

This piece started off when I was asked for my $0.02 this weekend on something in the local paper (which I freely admit that I do still read), written by someone whom I consider an absolute imbecile (which I’d told my friend on multiple occasions what I thought of this particular writer).

Still, if this wasn’t coming from a friend of mine, it probably would’ve ended differently.

{Post continues below the fold}

 

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But, none of this is what Gov Snyder promised Michigan Taxpayers after the bailout???

Unless you have the Pollyanna-ish worldview that a certain sitting Michigan Governor possesses, honestly none of this should come as a surprise to anyone.

Round two in the Detroit Mayoral Race (which in case anyone is interested, has the first and only televised debate tonite).

And the sad part here is that I could’ve found more rundown areas of Detroit than are featured below.

 

Submitted w/o any further comment.

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Once Upon A Time

The first amendment used to assist the second? Brilliant?

There was a Republican legislator in Michigan.

He wasn’t a remarkably conservative man, and to-be-sure not particularly interested in the constitution.  Certainly not very knowledgeable about it either. Bruce Patterson actually tried to license ‘opinion’

One thing of particular interest to bloggers and out-of-mainstream writers is the legislative effort to curb access to information and the ability to report by ‘just anyone’. It had popped up a couple of years ago when a Michigan legislator, State senator Bruce Patterson (perhaps twirling his handlebar mustache a little too tight) had the idea of ‘licensing journalists’.

“Introduced by Sen. Bruce Patterson (R) on May 11, 2010, to create a government “Board of Michigan Registered Reporters” to pass on the qualifications under criteria established in the bill for an individual who seeks to use the title “Michigan Registered Reporter.” An individual who writes or creates news stories, commentaries or editorials for a newspaper, online news outlet or radio or TV broadcaster, and who wants to use this title, would have to pay a $10 fee, and have either a journalism degree, at least three years experience as a reporter, submit writing samples, present evidence of awards or recognitions, present a letter of recognition from a reporter who is “registered,” etc.”

A very strange thing to even ponder, much less propose as law.

In fairness, it should be noted he was ‘cool’ with non credentialed types using the title ‘reporter’.

In fairness.

One might wonder where such a mental process begins.  Is it the result of a nasty and hurtful news article?  Is it to protect an elite class of reporters and restrict access to all others (unless properly credentialed) who seek access to political types?  Is it simply impish guile?

Who knows?  It’s forgotten news anyhow, as it went nowhere and it has been absent for several years of the 24 hour news cycle.

Now we have a new twist!  read on…

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Well that didn’t take very long.

Here comes the first proverbial shot across the bow.

Grab some popcorn, this should be fun.

Submitted w/o any further comment.

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Taking It Back

True Conservative to get back in the game for 2018

One of the most compelling curiosities of Michigan politics is the 11th congressional district.

In the 2012 election cycle, a little known veteran, farmer, and teacher, Kerry Bentivolio  challenged the popular Thaddeus McCotter for the 11th congressional seat in the Republican primary. Bentivolio was largely ignored and on his own with barely a notice even as he set up a Kiosk just outside the 2012 State convention in Detroit.

McCotter was not going to lose a primary to this particular unknown and things moved along as they do. Of course “as they do” can become crazy real fast in Michigan politics. The long [to NO] shot challenger soon found himself thrust into the position of defending a GOP seat in congress when things fell apart for McCotter.

Establishment types freaked out.

McCotter at first thought a write-in campaign would work, but then decided to roll with fate and pursue the next stage of his career.  At the same time, money players in the 11th sought out someone they thought might be ‘a better choice’ to defend the seat (and perhaps serve their ends) for the general election.

Even though write in campaigns are seldom successful, it was seen as the only way to keep a constitutional conservative, tea party guy from ‘screwing up’ the system.  Nancy Cassis was selected to challenge the new found politico Bentivolio for the primary, but as write-ins go, was easily trounced by the under funded and on the ballot new-pol by a margin of two to one.

Bentivolio served with honor and earned a 95% rating from freedomworks, 92% from the ACU, 91% from club for growth, and 83% from Heritage. Bentivolio was second only to Amash in constitutional on the Heritage rating and earned the top spot from a number of smaller conservative and small business organizations.

It wasn’t enough for the swamp however.  In 2014, there was already a challenge planned and fully funded, and with the establishment blockade placed on the newly installed congressman’s reelection coffers, he wasn’t able to survive a political fight with the well funded David Trott, who won easily with his own two to one margin.

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Do you stand?

I just wanted to follow up on a post that I made about a week ago regarding the disrespectful manner the millionaire ingrates in the NFL (and locally the Detroit Lions along with their cowardly management) had adopted over the latest faux outrage during our National Anthem.

Yes, there were a few interesting twists that I didn’t anticipate as well.

{And yes, those head-scratching details are below the fold}

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Michigan’s Next Attorney General?

Tom Leonard takes first step to secure the GOP nomination

Michigan Democrats have what some might call a “kiddie pool” of candidates.

Not necessarily because of immaturity (though some might argue this), but because of the depth it represents.  There are few rock stars remaining in Michigan politics on the donkey side of the slate, and those who have any gravitas are shooting for the governor’s seat.

Tom Leonard, instead of waiting around for even more Republicans to be elected to do the right thing has taken a chance or two.  He attempted to get the income tax reduction finished, but it wasn’t something our ‘progressive’ governor wanted, and the chief executive’s cronies did what they do; stall good policy. Unfortunately Leonard’s time as house speaker has come to an end.   Some might consider it the other side of the blade of term limits.

This is Leonard’s announcement for Michigan’s attorney general.  Below the fold is his emailed announcement.

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Boycott NFL Detroit

From my inbox (and continuing with an earlier post).

Despite the attempts from team owners to play nice for the fans (Martha Ford even offered a bribe, er, I mean donation to the cause..exactly what that is, is anyone’s guess), NFL Players continue to act like ignorant tone-deaf buffoons.

Stadium seats aren’t selling. Advertisers are pulling out. People are turning off their TV’s.

Why not help to drive the point home?

This coming Sunday, October 8th, starting at 10:30am at the Main Entrance, there will be a Boycott Protest in front of Ford Field, organized by Michigan Freedom to Work spokesman Brian Pannebecker.

From their Facebook page:

“The National Anthem, in 2017 is a unifying symbol of America, the greatest country in the history of mankind.

These leftist agitators disrespecting the flag are trying to take that away from you by dividing us.

Please don’t let them, – please show your support for the U.S. flag and ‘our’ National Anthem this Sunday, Oct. 8th, outside Ford Field in Detroit.

We will be gathering at 10:30 near the main entrance to Ford Field to encourage fans to boycott the NFL until the league enforces its own rule calling for all players to stand facing the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. We have free “BOYCOTT NFL” t-shirts, and pre-printed signs to hold up as fans walk into the stadium.

Media will be there covering the protest event, so this is YOUR chance to have your voice heard in support of America and the flag that so many have given their life to defend. Please make plans to come, and try to get 2-3 friends to ride down together to share the cost of gas and parking.

We hope you join us this Sunday!“

If you can attend, be sure to RSVP on their FB Page linked above.

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A doer vs. do-nothing. Is this really a contest?

He's got a point. Can Debbie Stabenow claim this?

Even though I’m unabashedly leaning towards KR, I still have got to give kudos to someone who comes right out and says this.

Submitted w/o any further comment.

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