5th Ward City Councilman Wantwaz Davis Gives An Explanation Of Why He Said No To The Abatement
On June 22, 2015, there was a hearing at council to give General Motors a 12 year, 50% tax abatement. I refused to support the abatement, for a few particular reasons.
General Motors never explained to council of the consequences of them not receiving the abatement; most importantly, there wasn’t any negotiation. To be honest, I support tax abatements for any major company as long as there is some requirements and demands. Unfortunately, to the contrary, there wasn’t. I understand that General Motors desires to remain competitive, which is good, but administering a cure for the problems in Flint, Michigan is better.
There are 80 to 88% of minorities in Flint who are living in poverty, over 30,000 felons who cannot get a job. They are walking the streets aimlessly, irritated, angry, and frustrated. Public safety and the economy are struggling; income and property taxes is limited in its ability to provide good services.
I refused to make a deal based on false hope and uncertain opportunities. There should have been a negotiation, demanding that the plant hire people specifically from Flint, where taxes could have benefited the City of Flint and wages would have benefited the residents of the city. Workers from the county pay a half the income tax as oppose to residents from the Flint who pay full taxes.
Flint is suffering from deprivation, lack of jobs, and crime. The negotiation process could have surrounded around these three issues, unfortunately that wasn’t the case. It is unfair to request abatements but not offer anything in return; it conflicts with the law and order of reciprocation, that is, give and exchange.
There is no certainty that anyone from Flint will receive any job from the plant, if you are asking for support from the residents in Flint, that is, tax abatements, well then there should have been demands to hire nothing but residents from Flint. This would help stimulate the tax system for better services.
In conclusion, I respect my colleague’s and their decisions. This article is in no shape, fashion or form to attack their opinion; just to give an explanation of why I said “no” to the tax abatement.