Outage over GM job cuts grows with activists wanting end to tax abatements

- The news of the General Motors plant shuttering on the Detroit-Hamtramck border last week hit was a blow to the motor city.

More than 1,500 employees are expected to lose their jobs next year

"I just see our community being stripped," said Lila Cabbil. "There's no plan, there should be an exit plan. Even the timing around the holidays - why December and not January?"

Cabbil is one of many people who showed up in support for a National Action Network press conference on Monday.

The activist group points out that back in the 1980s when the Hamtramck plant opened, GM received millions of dollars in tax abatements 

And because the future of the plant is unclear, more than 30 years later, "We want no more tax abatements given to developers or corporations," said Charles Williams II, National Action Network.

Williams claims that big tax incentives for private companies lead to cuts in basic city services. 

But a city spokesperson says the exact opposite is true when a city gives a company tax abatement

"You are actually increasing the revenue that comes into the city," said Charity Dean, city of Detroit. "Therefore you are increasing the money for education, jobs for police, and you are increasing jobs for fire."

The National Action Network says it plans to take its proposal to the city council and the mayor's office, but representatives did not talk about any type of plan beyond that at Monday’s news conference.
 

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