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  • Urban Affairs

    Ineffective Social Contracts: The Propensity for Continued Tax Delinquency and Tax Recidivism in the City of Detroit

     

    Of those who praise the comeback of redevelopment in the City of Detroit, little is known of the immense chaos that exists within the city’s Finance Department and the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office. In the first half of 2015, Detroit experienced the single largest tax foreclosure in American History (1). This year, about 60,000 homes are set to foreclose and be auctioned off by the Wayne County Treasurer due to delinquent property taxes. Half of these homes are still occupied. The real esta

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    Detroit Land Bank Spearheads Redevelopment

    The Land Bank in Detroit is, in effect, an organization by which the City oversees the takeover and subsequent resale, demolition or repurposing of previously privately and publicly owned properties. On a topical level this process is strongly opposed. Why and how can a City rationalize that taking someone’s property and selling it is an idea that meets good governance standards? It can almost seem like and example of a government overreaching its power.  In this article we will briefly outlin

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    Detroit Land Bank Strategies

    To analyze the strategies used by the Detroit land bank, I will utilize metrics that Dewar et al. put together in describing a successful transfer of tax foreclosed properties. Those authors put together a very simple three part analysis to measure how well the transfer process of the Wayne County Treasurers Office employed in the early 2000’s until approximately 2012. In short that organization failed spectacularly. We will use the itemized failures to look more deeply into the Detroit Land Ban

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    Greater Water Rates, Deteriorating Water Quality

     

    Flint, Michigan is in a State of Financial Emergency. A major change that Emergency Manager Darnell Earley made in April of 2014 was the transition of Flint’s drinking water source. The water is now being drawn from the Flint River until a new pipeline is finished in 2016. Previously, the city purchased their water from the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage. They got their water that way for 50 years. The new pipeline to Lake Huron will be contracted through the Karegnondi Water Authority.

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    Portfolios and Politics: Considerations in the Transition from Twelve Detroit Public School Systems

    The original version of this postwas published on Green & Write -- Michigan State University College of Education'sEducation Policy Research Insights blog

    While student achievement in Detroit Public Schools (DPS) has not changed much in recent years (for example, see Exhibit 1), who is accountable for the achievement of Detroit’s students has changed significantly. In the past decade, DPS has been in the hands of a local school board, the mayor, and, most recently, the Educational Achievement

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    Urban Affairs

    • Ineffective Social Contracts: The Propensity for Continued Tax Delinquency and Tax Recidivism in the City of Detroit

        Of those who praise the comeback of redevelopment in the City of Detroit, little is known of the immense chaos that exists within the city’s Finance Department and the Wayne County Treas...
    • Detroit Land Bank Spearheads Redevelopment

      The Land Bank in Detroit is, in effect, an organization by which the City oversees the takeover and subsequent resale, demolition or repurposing of previously privately and publicly owned properties...
    • Detroit Land Bank Strategies

      To analyze the strategies used by the Detroit land bank, I will utilize metrics that Dewar et al. put together in describing a successful transfer of tax foreclosed properties. Those authors put toget...
    • Greater Water Rates, Deteriorating Water Quality

        Flint, Michigan is in a State of Financial Emergency. A major change that Emergency Manager Darnell Earley made in April of 2014 was the transition of Flint’s drinking water source. The water is no...
    • Portfolios and Politics: Considerations in the Transition from Twelve Detroit Public School Systems

      The original version of this postwas published on Green & Write -- Michigan State University College of Education'sEducation Policy Research Insights blog While student achievement in Detroit Publi...
    • In the Red—Drivers of Local Government Debt in Michigan

                    When we think of Michigan cities under fiscal stress, usual suspects like Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Hamtramck (the city for which Michigan’s “financial emergency” status was created ...
    • Detroit Bankruptcy Proposals

      The city of Detroit filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18, 2013 — the largest U.S. Municipal bankruptcy in history. Detroit cannot fulfill debts to retirees and bondholders. The city’s decline als...
    • Snyder on Flint

      Commentary The governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder has publically offended the city of Flint; A city that has struggled with violence and crime for years. It was during a speech he was giving on improv...
    • Governor's Dilemma: The Detroit Financial Crisis

      Since the beginning of 2013, Detroit has been under media scrutiny more than normal due to its increasing unstable financial situation. Recently, the city's largest union (AFSCME -American Federation...
    • Public Act 4 Repealed- What Next?

      On Election Day, voters in Michigan successfully repealed Public Act 4 by voting "No" on Proposal 1. This caused confusion over whether or not this meant Public Act 72 (the original form of the Act) w...
    • Emergency Managers in Pontiac

      In examining the effectiveness of Michigan's Emergency Financial Manager Law, one city to look at in detail is Pontiac. On March 19, 2009, the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board appointed...
    • Emergency Manager Law Referendum

      This coming election, voters in Michigan will have the chance to decide the fate of an important law that has affected the lives of many of the state's residents. This is an important part of the demo...
    • Who is Next? Emergency Managers and Local Government Fiscal Stress

      There are two court cases this week that are being closely watched by policymakers and citizens on both sides of the Emergency Manager debate. As the Emergency Management program continues with Muske...
    • Recent Research on Michigan Cities

      There are two useful recent studies of Michigan cities that we wanted to direct your attention toward. The first is a study of economic development networks in Detroit:http://brr.berkeley.edu/2011/04...
    • Commentary: Deficit Elimination Plans

      As part of the State Revenue Sharing Act, Public Act 140 of 1971 (as amended), each city ending the year with a deficit must submit a Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP) to the Treasury Department detailin...
    • The Review Team Reports

      After over three months of investigation into Detroit’s finances, the State Treasury, through its Financial Review Teams, issued its final report to the Governor on March 26th. The report details the ...
    • Policy Brief: Who's in Charge?

      April: It is now finally crunch time for Detroit. On Wednesday, Governor Snyder held a town hall meeting in Detroit to discuss what could turn out to be the defining issue of his term in office. The C...
    • Downtown Development Authority Farm Market Legislation

      In April of 2011, the Michigan Legislature was introduced to House Bill 4531; a piece of legislation, that, if enacted, would allow Downtown Development Authorities across the state to borrow and spen...
    • An Interview with Roger Fraser - Deputy State Treasurer

      Roger Fraser heads up the Local Government Services Bureau of the State Treasury and oversees, among other things, the State’s Emergency Manager Program under Public Act 4. As part of the position, he...
    • Policy Brief: Pontiac and Detroit

      On their Friday night broadcast, NBC Nightly News featured the City of Pontiac in a special report on municipal fiscal crisis. Pontiac has been under emergency management by the state for nearly three...
    • An Interview with Brandon Jessup – Michigan Forward

      In a small windowless office in Downtown Detroit, the headquarters of Michigan Forward, a few volunteers and staff are currently checking more than 162,000 signatures against the Michigan Qualified Vo...
    • Another Approach to Addressing Vacant Structures in Flint, MI

      Significant population loss since the mid-1960s has left an indelible mark on the fabric of neighborhoods in Flint, MI. With half the population it had in 1966, the city and county have turned to crea...
    • Act 4 and Financial Emergency Procedure in Detroit

      On the order of State Treasurer Andy Dillon, state officials arrived at Detroit’s City Hall earlier this week to conduct a preliminary review of the city’s finances. Acting under Public Act 4, which w...
    • Michigan: A State of Home Rule, Local Autonomy, and Emergency Managers

      As cities around the country show more signs of fiscal distress from years of economic downturn, and municipal bankruptcies become more common, Michiganders are paying much greater attention to our st...
    • Policy Brief: Detroit and Flint in Financial Crisis

      Mayor Dave Bing spoke face to face with Detroit last Wednesday night, laying out the city’s financial crisis and explaining the direction forward for the state’s largest city to retain its local contr...
    • Meet Your Downtown Development Authority

      The downtown is a city’s focal point, geographically being a point where the major roads meet and people intersect. However, socially and economically, the downtown is what gives the city an identity....
    • National Context Followup: Harrisburg, PA

      Add one more to the list of cities falling into bankruptcy amid the widespread government fiscal crises of the Great Recession.  The City Council of Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, voted last...
    • National Context: History of Municipal Financial Crisis and Policy

      The biggest story in the media this past year has been the federal deficit and the resulting debt ceiling controversy that bitterly divided the country, stalled the economy, and resulted in a humiliat...
    • Detroit and its Neighborhoods

      Apart from Justin Verlander's pitching, much of the discussion this summer in Detroit has been on the Mayor's new [Short Term Intervention Strategy] for the neighborhood revitalization initiative know...
    • Who "allegedly" owns the Packard Plant?

      Who owns the derelict Packard Plant in Detroit has been under much dispute in the last year.  Dominic Cristini claims he is the sole owner through his company, BioResource.  The city of Detroit is att...
    • Interview with Conan Smith, Executive Director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance

      Q: What is your previous background or experience before you joined the Michigan Suburb Alliance? A: I served as the Land Programs Director at the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) and as a Commun...
    • The Skinny on the One Kent Coalition

      Kent County and Grand Rapids seem to be leading the charge in the efforts to consolidate government through the One Kent Coalition. The coalition would create a metropolitan government for all of Kent...
    • What do Cities Think about Snyder's Consolidation Plans?

      Governor Snyder has released plans for encouraging local government consolidation in Michigan (see my previous article). The proposals paint a rosy picture, but are the cities as excited as the govern...
    • An Analysis of Governor Snyder's Community Development and Local Government Reforms

      Continuing his "transform and consolidate government" mantra, Governor Snyder has proposed many new plans to reform previous legislation to encourage consolidation of economic development on a state o...
    • Snyder's Urban Agenda May Face Reality Check

      Governor-elect Rick Snyder ran a campaign that included as one of its primary components a strong urban agenda.  Now that he will be assuming the state's highest office come January, he will have a ...
    • The Urban Agenda and Sunday's Debate: What to Expect

      Michigan gubernatorial candidates Rick Snyder and Virg Bernero will face off Monday in the first and only televised debate of this year's election season.  The candidates, both political upstarts who ...
    • Graduation Gaps between White and African-American Students at Wayne State University

      There exists an alarming problem at many higher education institutions today-a startling gap between the graduation rates of White and African American undergraduate students. Nationally, African Amer...
    • Ban the Box?

      Its mission is brought up with only the best intentions, but many Michiganders are not feeling the same way. The proposal is simply titled "Ban the Box." Introduced earlier this month, Detroit's City ...
    • Foreclosure Prevention

      The economic recession has dealt homeowners with a devastating blow. As unemployment rates continue to remain the highest that they have in years, thousands of homes are being repossessed by lenders. ...
    • Housing Discrimination in Michigan Labor Housing Camps

      Housing discrimination occurs not only in conventional home sales and rentals, but also in farm labor housing camps- dwellings that are subsidized by Michigan agricultural employers. Low wages and ru...
    • Midwest Urban Policy: An Economic Comparison

      Over the past years the U.S. economy has taken a downturn in the world market as well as a focus in the media. Some of the places hit hardest by this economic trend are the nations cities. These citi...
    • Proposed Changes to Building Demolition Standards

      On February 4th, 2009, a bill that would alter different pieces of the Michigan Housing Code was introduced. House Bill 4142 would establish a variety a standards for determining whether or not a bui...
    • Proposed Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Expansion

      House Bill 5567 was introduced on November 3, 2009, by State Representatives Woodrow Stanley, Robert Jones, Coleman Young, Richard Hammel, Lee Gonzales, Jim Slezak, Gabe Leland, David Nathan, Bettie S...
    • Renaissance Zone Act Amendments Would Reduce State Deficit and Revenue for Schools and Libraries

      2010 Senate Bill 1092, introduced by Senator Ron Jelinik (R) on January 27, 2010, and passed by the Senate on February 11 (25-12-1), aims to amend the Michigan Renaissance Zone Act to provide for a pr...
    • Kildee May Bring Urban Development to Forefront in Gubernatorial Race

      Former Genesee County treasurer Dan Kildee let it be known Friday, January 22nd that he was seriously considering joining the race for governor. Now that Lt. Governor John Cherry has withdrawn from t...
    • Poverty and Urban Issues in Michigan

        Living in poverty is an unfortunate reality to millions of people living in America. With the country in a recession, many have the fear of having their house foreclosed and losing everything. One ...
    • $1.1 Million Fair Housing Grant from HUD

      According to the Grand Rapids Press, five Michigan fair housing agencies will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to combat housing discrimination: The Fair...
    • Amidst deficit and fraud, Detroit to tighten tax rules

      The City of Detroit, facing a $300 million budget deficit this year, is looking to strengthen rules for homeowners seeking poverty exemptions on their property taxes. After uncovering dozens of instan...
    • Detroit's Dilemma

      Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is now seeking help from  the federal government.  He was stated as saying that President Obama should focus more governmental effort on helping out struggling cities.  Bing ra...
    • Bing Brings Detroit's Problems to Lansing

      On Tuesday Detroit Mayor Dave Bing made a trip to Lansing and the capitol to talk to state legislators about Detroit's money problems. The city of Detriot currently has a deficit of over $300 million....
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