Mayor James Hightower of Benton Harbor, Michigan says the
Whirlpool Corporation should not pay taxes - only the
residents of the city of Benton Harbor should foot the bills.
Whirlpool Corporation's profit last year was more than ten billion
dollars, and it paid no taxes to the city of Benton Harbor where
the headquarters resides.
Mayor James Hightower and the Whirlpool Corporation fought
extremely hard to defeat the city income tax which would
have provided $3.5 million dollars the very first year and
every year after. Residents and those who work in the city
would pay the income tax. Corporations would, too.
Mayor Hightower wanted a debt consolidation loan. He
said the loan would not add to the debt, but eliminate it. How
stupid does the mayor and Whirlpool Corporation believe the
residents of Benton Harbor are?
Commissioner Marcus Muhammad, who supports the residents
and fights for the all of us, said he remains unconvinced that
the loan is a good idea.
Commissioner Muhammad remarked, "You cannot cut your way
out of debt, or borrow your way out of debt. These are just two
basic principle of finance.
Commissioner Bowen said, "Without the loan the city will still pay
off it's debt, it will just take longer. I don't see what's the rush."
The commissioners question why Mayor Hightower didn't mention
the need for a loan in his State of the City address on October 15,2013 -
before the November 5, 2013 election when the city income tax
was defeated. It would have provided $3.5 million every year.
There would be no need for a loan. He said the city was in the black,
and now he wanted to take out a $2.3 million dollar loan
(on the backs of the people.)
If the people had known about the loan they would have approved
the city income tax, which called for residents and businesses to pay
1% income tax and non-residents 0.5% city income tax. Non-residents
are over 90% of the people who work inside Benton Harbor.
Hightower is being recalled for voting "no" on the city income tax.
Because of him the residents are forced to take out a loan for $2.3
million dollars. We must remove the Mayor from office.
Rev Edward Pinkney