More on serial tax delinquencies // Eliot Singer

Because it sounds like this Dublin Square thing is another hurry-up, no-scrutiny deal, I thought I’d better get the facts out faster than ELi can do a story.

For those who have forgotten or missed earlier episodes: No, not everybody does it. In my many years of perusing records, I am only aware of three would-be developers who use tax delinquencies as a cash flow strategy. One in Lansing, exposed by MLive if I remember correctly, admitted he used not paying taxes on time as a cheap loan.

Tax delinquencies are indicative of being under capitalized, which is why these developers are at high risk of failure. East Lansing officials insist if the private sector will fund a project that exempts the city from risk management. This shows city officials are ignorant about the finance industry. The only people more cynical about the eagerness of financiers to make bad loans than I am are my banker friends.

What we have here is someone with a history of not paying taxes on time, who owns a small property that cannot be redeveloped unless he can get the lead on adjacent city owned properties. The trick to enticing officials into backroom deals, instead of proper RFPs, is to promise stuff from the wish list, however absurd, like a downtown multiplex. How many years were we lied to about the performing arts theater in City Center II?

 

-Eliot Singer

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