Detroit Mayor issues Statement on Legislative Successes

DETROIT, MI – State lawmakers today passed three important pieces of legislation that will significantly improve the quality of life for the residents of our city. Mike Duggan

Individually, these bills help Detroiters avoid tax foreclosure, allow the city to more quickly remove blight and help attract thousands of new jobs to Detroit.

All of these bills passed on a strong bi-partisan basis and with the support of Gov. Rick Snyder.

Among this important legislation were HB 4882 and HB 5421, which give 20,000 Detroit homeowners the ability to restructure their property tax debts to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

These bills have three important provisions: First, they reduce the interest rate on property tax delinquencies from 18 percent to six percent. Second, they give homeowners the ability to enter into a payment plan for up to five years to pay down their delinquency. Third, these bills include a debt forgiveness component to make sure any homeowner’s tax bill is no more than 25 percent of the home’s market value.

I would like to thank the bills’ primary sponsors Rep. Phil Cavanagh (HB 4882) and Speaker Pro-Tem John Walsh (HB 5421) for their leadership in getting this important legislation approved. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, Sen. John Papageorge, and Sen. Mark Jensen all were critical to these bills passing the Senate, as well.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our state legislators from Detroit and across Michigan who supported these bills, as well as Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz and his Chief Deputy, David Szymanski, who helped author this important legislation.

Lawmakers also passed HB 5862 by a 94-14 vote in the House and 36-0 in the Senate. This legislation gives the city the ability to more quickly address fire damaged buildings by requiring insurance companies to place into the fire escrow fund $12,000 to cover the full cost of demolition, as opposed to the current amount of $6,000.

This bill also would allow the city to reprogram $7 million of existing fire escrow money to be used for immediate demolition.

I would like to thank the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Amanda Price, as well as State Attorney General Bill Schuette for issuing a letter in support of these changes that now will be enacted into law.

Finally, the city of Detroit is one step closer to redeveloping 150 acres of vacant land near city airport with the potential of creating thousands of good paying jobs for Detroiters, thanks to the passage of HB 4783 and SB 398.

These bills allow for the creation of a new tax free zone for this land. My administration already has been negotiating with the UAW, the Big 3 and automotive suppliers to relocate jobs from other countries to a proposed new industrial park on this land. This location is ideal for attracting multi-modal transportation related jobs since it is next to Detroit City Airport and in close proximity to I-94, major rail lines, and large intermodal facility and our international bridge crossing.

I would like to thank bill sponsors Sen. Tom Casperson and Rep. John Kivela for their support and leadership on this issue.

I would like to thank Democratic Leader Tim Greimel for his strong support of these legislative packages and the entire Detroit delegation that stood united in the passage of all of these bills. I’d also like to thank House Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville for making sure these bills were considered in the very busy closing hours of this legislative session.

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