Detroit’s independent and non-partisan anti-poverty think tank, The PuLSE Institute, is launching a series of solution-oriented public policy forums throughout the year in response to the historic revelation in The Detroit News recently that Detroit homeowners have been overtaxed by $600 million from 2010-2016.
The new initiative for the public good is the first of its kind, and will focus on restorative economic justice for Detroiters who have been wronged by the financial scandal. While the city admitted it overtaxed unsuspecting residents in this impoverished and majority black city, it offered no recourse for its devastating violation of the public trust. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan ignored the city’s actions, offered no remorse and simply placed accountability on residents who failed to utilize the appeal process of their property tax bills. Duggan also deferred to existing law as to why his hands are tied, and the Detroit City Council has yet to offer any realistic policy solutions as a roadmap for restoration.
“The $600 Million over taxing of Detroit residents is an issue that cannot go unaddressed and an issue that no individual or organization can dare be silent about. This over assessment calls into question the fundamental operation of government, and the city’s admission of their actions is a breach of public trust that violates the basic premise that government serves the wellbeing of the people,” said Tina M. Patterson, Esq., president and director of research of The PuLSE Institute. “The PuLSE Institute understands the massive implications of this latest city government scandal, especially how it further contributed to poverty in Detroit by foreclosing homes of poor people unable to pay the inflated property taxes. This forum is the first in a series that will keep this issue at the forefront of the recovery until those who were wronged by the over assessment are made whole from these intolerable actions by the city of Detroit.”
The first forum, “The $600 Million Scandal: How Will Detroiters Get Justice?”, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 6-8pm at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District. The forum will feature Patterson from the Institute, Detroit News investigative reporter Christine MacDonald, who broke the story about the over-assessment crisis, John Mogk, a nationally renowned expert on property, state and local government law and professor of law at Wayne State University, and Sam Riddle, a longtime Detroit political analyst and host of Riddle @Random, a daily show on 910AM Super Station-Detroit from 9-11am EST. All four panelists will discuss and analyze the wider implications of this egregious action of city government, and its debilitating impact on the future of Detroiters, who are caught in the daily manacles of inequality.
The forum series moderator is Bankole Thompson, the editor-in-chief of The PuLSE Institute. Thompson is a twice-a-week opinion columnist at The Detroit News and the host of REDLINE, a political talk show on 910AM Super Station-Detroit which airs Monday through Friday from 11am-1pm EST.
The public is invited to attend the forums. Those who wish to attend the inaugural Jan. 29 forum should RSVP athttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-600-million-scandal-how-will-detroiters-get-justice-tickets-90435064713
Dates and times for the remaining forums that will explore all sides of this crisis of homeownership will be announced once details become available. Visit www.thepulseinstitute.org for more information and follow our public discussions on the issues of poverty and inequality critical to the ongoing recovery of Detroit.