The troubling property tax values, and potential for mass transportation in Southeastern Michigan were among the issues discussed at the 10th Tri-County Summit between leaders of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.   

Wayne county director of equalization, Phillip Mastin, predicts one or two more waves of foreclosures.

According to Mastin, in “commercial markets we’re looking at another 4-5 years of properties that need to be refinanced from where their peak values were.” As for residential markets, Mastin said that “we’re looking at 1 in 35, 1 in 50 homes in foreclosure right now in the tri-county area. “

The real estate situation has tax revenues projected to dip below last year’s already low figures, and Mastin believes there will be staff cuts across the board. 

Charles Pugh, city council president, expressed the importance of the summit in moving along the transit plans — one potential way to improve the regional tax revenues.

“People in this room are the ones who can make this happen along with our state legislators,” he explained, “the Obama administration has already been very clear that they want to support mass transit in southeastern Michigan.”

The regional transit plan would cover the tri-county area around Detroit, which is why support from all three counties leaders is crucial to its success. 

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas spoke with Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown who drew attention to two leaders not present at the summit.

“I’ll be loud and clear, Mayor Bing and L. Brooks Paterson need to go into a room and come out with a regional authority for transportation; I believe that Mr. Pagano and Macomb County will fall in line,” Brown said.

Leaders, like Pugh and Brown, continue push for the transit system and hope that other area leaders follow suit.

(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio.  All Rights Reserved.)

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