Detroit

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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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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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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Because GOP Voters Are THAT Stupid?

The Draft Roger Penske campaign cannot be for real, can it

Only in Michigan could we nominate a Republican who donated to his opponent’s war chest.

It would be one thing if Roger Penske and his wife donated to Debbie Stabenow 10 years ago, had buyers remorse (who wouldn’t), and then decided to rectify by running for the US senate seat to correct it.  It is quite again another to donate $30,000 aggregately, less that a year ago, and expect to be nominated.

Kathryn Penske

2555 Telegraph Rd Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302

. / Homemaker

 

12/08/2016

15000.00

15000.00

Roger S Penske

2555 Telegraph Rd Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302

Penske Corporation / Chief Executive Officer

 

12/06/2016

15000.00

15000.00

Good grief.

Take off the top-hat and tuxedo and pay attention. Even rich penguins remain to this day, birds that cannot fly.

Who comes up with these crazy ideas?

 

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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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Grow a spine, Governor!

You DO know that whole “Freedom of Speech” thing isn’t just limited to only aggrieved community agitators.

After recently engaging in security theater on a grand-scale, I didn’t really have a whole lot of respect for what passes law enforcement here in Michigan.

My thoughts on that issue echo those Benjamin Franklin made over two centuries ago.

And then they(/she) doubles-down on bad decision making.

Yes, this is becoming disappointing.

{Post continues after the fold}

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Imagine what these kids could do with a broom and some yard tools?

The circus never ends.

This weekend instead of doing something (anything) fun, entertaining and constructive over the weekend (we had an Air Show at Selfridge celebrating its 100th Anniversary, the Armada Fair, the Woodward Cruise and many others events here in Southeastern Michigan), a group of adolescent protestors with obviously way too much free time on their hands decided to go after their 15-minutes of fame and emulate their fellow Antifa comrades in Downtown Detroit.

And who did this bunch of rabble-rousers target its ire at?

{the comedy continues after the fold}

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Crony Capitalism: Not Just For Companies And Politicians!

'Scandal Free' Obama Administration AG Eric Holder Spiked Criminal Charges Against UAW VP General Holiefield Sometime In 2014.

Detroit is atwitter over the criminal indictments that dropped on 26 July against former FCA (Chrysler) labor negotiator Alphons Iacobelli, UAW VP General Holiefield’s widow, Monica Morgan, and FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden. They looted the the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC) and bought a lot of bling with the proceeds, which were laundered through a charity called Leave the Light On Foundation created by General Holiefield.  Criminal use of bogus charities is a whole story in itself best left to another day.

Prior to this little imbroglio, General R. Holiefield and his wife Monica Morgan are fondly remembered for a ‘gun cleaning accident’ on 30 December 2013. In light of last week’s indictments, that event is now probably subject to some reinterpretation.

Were they battling over ill-gotten lucre?

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