Detroit Still Trying to Tax Business That Abandoned City 15 Years Ago

No wonder they left?


once a business, still a tax target
Michigan Capitol Confidential

Rose Bogert and her husband ran a metal straightening company in Detroit for 28 years before high taxes, slow business, and rising crime drove them out at the end of the 20th century. But the tax bills are still coming. Via the Mackiack Center for Public Policy's Michigan Capitol Confidential:

"We left Detroit and everything we owned in it," Bogaert said. "For years, they have been sending us bills on fire permits, taxes and anything else you can think of. It has been 15 years since we have been in that building and they still come."

…"This is another warning about trying to make a go of it in Detroit," said Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "The marriage of high taxes, regulation and poor services creates every sort of mischief. It's instructive that the city has the resources to go after those who have long ago fled, but not the resources to keep all its lights on today."

Bogert said when the issue first started she tried calling the city but couldn't reach anyone. Michigan Capitol Confidential couldn't either. Bogert also complained of constant city and state safety inspections, which contributed to her leaving Detroit. According to her, they lost a $20,000 settlement when a 12-year-old drove into a piece of steel the business was moving. A stolen lift truck some time later was the last straw.

Is it any wonder Detroit went bankrupt? President Obama last month committed $320 million to the city. Look for a special feature on "how to break an American city" in the current issue of Reason magazine!