Monday, May 09, 2005

Tax That Fat Dealer!

Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is proposing what amounts to a "fat tax": a tax on fast food restaurants in the city. As the article says, the tax has little chance of passing, because it would require the Republican controlled state legislature to change state law. And people aren't stupid -- the 18-year old quoted in the article said that if they enact the tax he's going to a McDonald's in Bloomfield Hills (the kid's not that smart though: he could get to Redford or Southfield a lot quicker). Fast food restaurants, or to be precise those who own them, aren't stupid either, and they could follow the trail out of the city beaten over the last thirty years by most of its businesses and residents. Perhaps the biggest joke is the reference to how the city is bracing for "mass layoffs and service cuts." I'm sure the soon to be laid off city employees are bracing themselves, but I doubt the rest of Detroit is that concerned. After all, this is a city that doesn't bother to plow side streets after a big snow, in reliance on the certainty that it has to melt some time. This is also a city where it takes 6-9 months to have a deed recorded. My opinion is that given the level of services that are actually provided, Detroiters are not going to have a clue what services were actually cut.


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