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Clarke pushes for Detroit "trust fund"

Hansen Clarke
Hansen Clarke

Congressman Hansen Clarke wants Detroiters to stop paying taxes to the federal government, that money should be put aside as a trust fund to help re-build the city.

Clarke made the case for his Detroit Jobs Trust Fund before the Detroit City Council Tuesday. That’s legislation he’s introduced that would divert the money Detroiters pay in federal taxes over five years.

Some would go to erase the city’s—and its school district’s—debt burden.

The rest would be put toward a 5-year development plan to invest in schools, job training, and infrastructure. Clarke says that plan would need  approval from the City Council, along with the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“If we’re able to erase our debt and invest in our own city, we’ll attract the plants and investments and jobs we need to come back to Detroit,” Clarke says.

Clarke says this is a way to make needed investments without asking for a bailout.

“Many times, folks in politics say ‘Well, we don’t have the money. We can’t do this. We can’t hire people, we can’t create jobs, and we can’t fix our roads, we can’t do this’. I wanted to show the people yes we can, and here’s a way that we can do it.”

Clarke says President Obama and other members of Congress have been “receptive” to the idea, but it’s unclear whether and when it will move forward.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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