David Shepardson wrote a story for The Detroit News recently regarding “an $836 million plan to prepare 90 former General Motors Corp. sites for new economic life.”
While the initial bailout of GM was approved during Pres. George W. Bush’s administration, the newest plan as proposed by President Barack Obama will allocate $536 million towards to the cleanup of GM properties across 14 states. Correction, let’s make that ‘former properties of GM’ as the places in question are production plants, other buildings and vacant land that GM divested itself of through bankruptcy in 2009.
The funds for the cleanup will be coming from $1.175 billion allocated last year by the U.S. Treasury to ‘wind down the old GM.’
I’m not thrilled that taxpayer money is being used to finance the bankruptcy and reorganization of a major U.S. corporation such as GM. But so be it. I am a little less upset that the EPA will use funds to cleanup and demolish some of these toxic sites.
With that said, I do take offense to the apparent fact that of the $836 million proposed in the plan, nearly $300 million is being set aside for such things as paying property taxes on these ‘bad assets’ of GM. The State of Michigan alone is seeking $114 million in unpaid taxes on these properties within their borders.
I see no way in which it is proper for hundreds of millions of dollars collected from taxpayers all across America should be used to pay back taxes owed by a corporation. If the states want their taxes, then let them take possession of the properties for which back taxes are owed. Let those states in question have the Feds spend the $500+ million on cleanup and then those states should be free to sell them to the higher bidder, or even keep the properties for public use.
Let the EPA do their job, but I see no rational reason to use federal revenues to compensate a state for lost property tax revenue from a public or private corporation. This action may be only the start of a doomed ride down a slippery slope. If the federal government continues with such a line of action, how long will be it be before the states’ coffers are flush but the country as a whole is bankrupt?
To read Shepardson’s original article please visit http://bit.ly/GMtaxes