Flint's Dayne Walling - a Mayor open to ideas and opportunities for his city
The story of Flint Michigan need not be retold here. The story of Flint is the story of many Rustbelt cities from Troy New York to St. Louis Missouri. Existing for decades as a city with good jobs for all that wanted one, a city that rewarded enterprise and hard work. The downturn of the US automobile industry was recently (But chimerically) reversed by pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to Chrysler and General Motors, yet has had little effect on the city itself. With all this,Flint could have given up, but it appears they are looking for ways to bring their community back together to heal it, and make it whole again.
Economic collapse is quickly followed by societal collapse. Like Camden New Jersey or Reading Pennsylvania, Flint is dangerous on many levels. Flint needs stable municipal revenues to help combat these problems.
Second term Mayor Dayne Walling has decided to do something very rare: look at new ideas. In this recent column from the Bridge, a locally based newspaper reporting on Central Michigan, Mayor Walling proposes several sensible ideas to help Michigan cities, not least of which is the land value tax. To do this, Michigan will need a new approach to property assessment and tax law,because Proposal A limits values to something called "taxable value" which is skewed the property tax and it's valuations out of all relation to market value. Yet, current tax reform bills would provide tax relief to nonresidential property, with no clear revenue replacement for cities that need tax dollars just to survive and operate. Tax reform has to be for everybody.
We wish Mayor Walling luck and give him our support.
An interesting video journey through Flint shows both a grim reality and the potential for rebirth. Underneath each shattered and abandoned building, is the land. In Flint as elsewhere, land and its value can serve as a resource while the city finds a new way.
Flint Michigan is Much More than a Michael Moore Movie.