Oops.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Five months after it opened, the HYPE Recreation Center is facing two past-due property tax bills totaling nearly $150,000, but the nonprofit group is disputing whether it should owe the money.

HYPE did not pay its city winter tax bill of $30,465.66, and the city sent the bill to the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office as of the Feb. 28 deadline. The bill had not been paid to the county as of last Wednesday.

HYPE also missed last Wednesday’s city summer tax bill deadline of $114,954.76, and the bill still had not been paid as of Monday morning. If the bill is not paid by March 1, 2013, it too will go to the county.

Its winter tax bill will be mailed Dec. 1 and due to the city by Feb. 14, 2013. It also faces a March 1, 2013, deadline before the bill is sent to the county. The total for that bill hasn’t been finalized because the millage rate is to be determined, but City Treasurer John Riley said it likely would be about $53,150. Read the Rest Here

“I personally believe HYPE does a fine job with youth in the area,” Mayor Daniel Paletko said. “It was not our intent to make them taxable.”

He said the city chose to hire Beckerleg as outside counsel to ensure that it was making the right decision that HYPE’s application was not sufficient. Paletko said he asked Beckerleg if HYPE was close to meeting the standard; Beckerleg said no.

“I don’t know how they’re going to survive,” Paletko said. “It puts them in a precarious situation.

“We did not take this lightly.”

First I would ask who is the our when the Mayor say’s “it was not our intent to make them  taxable.” Just what was your intent Mr. Mayor and when did you say publicly what your intent was. Did you bring this organization into the city telling them they would not be taxed? Do they charge a membership fee? Yes and so does the YMCA who is all so a nonprofit. Hell the rec centers here in the city charge a fee to the seniors to use the exercises equipment what’s the difference? Just what standard is there in order to obtain non-profit? Who was in charge of the paper work for non-profit status? Where is the board in all of this?  Does the city need to have something so nice go up in smoke because someone dropped the ball here. Or is there a larger issue at play here? Is the Mayor trying to send a message to his base in time for his re-election bid does he need to let his base know whats what.

I would have like to see the paper ask Councilman Berry what he thinks of the situation considering he’s the one who brought them before the council to approve the project that they had nothing to do with and no say over, but he brought them anyway. I was at that meeting and until this day can’t understand why he brought them before the council. Councilman Berry does sit on the board of HYPE and I think it would do a lot of good to hear from him. He’s been very out spoken in the past about HYPE and even at times a bit defensive.

The Mayor can help when he want’s to and when it’s in his best interest breaks the rules violates the City charter at the drop of a hat. Here however he’s hiring a lawyer I think at this point it would be in the cities best interest to try to give them some time to get the documents they need in-order to try to help them. The City doesn’t need another empty building no matter how you may feel about HYPE they are now a part of our City. The City of Dearborn Heights now faces the possibility of having this beautiful facility shut down and then what? Does the County take over oh great and they don’t have the money to run it so for sure it will be closed down. The City take it over ya right the City doesn’t have the money to pay the bills for it. In the end unless a solution is found for this the residents are going to be stuck looking at an empty building one that cost the taxpayers over 6 million dollars.

 

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8 thoughts on “Oops.”

  1. The Hype Center is just another scam by Ficano and his administration to line there pockets. I really hope that none of our city employee’s were involved.

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  2. In reading the article in the local paper, originally a charity was orignally going to move in thier and share space. But the organization backed out because the building didn’t work for their needs. If this charity had stayed, their taxable would not be questioned. However, since a charity will not be there, they cant claim that they are exempt. The ymca however is a true charity, and gives monies and schlorships to the communities. That is why they are allowed to claim tax-exempt. Also the ymca is a christian organization, and because it’s religious base, it is tax exempt like a church, or school for example.

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  3. Thank you I was wondering why the paper didn’t contact you I appreciate you answer. I think it would be a hug shame to have that building empty. I hope a solution is found

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  4. Please let me clarify a couple things before I make a statement. First, I was offered a position on the board (HYPE) but I never formally accepted or declined the invitation until most recently while attending a ‘Closed Session’ I was asked to leave based upon the Adminstrations assumption that I was a board member. I have since sent a letter to HYPE thanking them for their gracious offer but I had to decline the invitation because my first committment is to the city. So, no, I’m not a board member.

    Second, I did arrange the initial meeting between HYPE, Zaman, County Officials and the Mayor. So yes, I did ‘bring’ them together and I did write both resolutions acknowledging both organizations and welcoming them into the city; both Council Resolutions were passed 7-0.

    In my opinion HYPE is being victimized in a political battle and are now pawns in an effort to descredit an elected official and other poly-mites are staying as far away from this as possible. If a position is taken in favor of supporting the organization there will be political ramifications to follow. There’s an election coming.

    The tax issue is another dynamic that is in litigation and I would be violating an ethics code if I discussed it. So, I with-hold my opinion.

    Finally, HYPE is a great organization that fills a huge void for us. If the Mayor embrassed it, it would be an nice center for senior activities with a full complement of excercise equipement, an indoor track for winter walking, a nice lounge area, a computer room and a library; they have even offered office space for the cities recreation department…

    There is not enough space or time for me to write a complete position on this issue but I believe everything will be worked-out.

    Please don’t throw-out the baby with the bath water…

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  5. Did you know?

    That the City (Council) had no say in this. It was a deal between the County and the HYPE organization. The County sold the property to the orgaization. For $1 I might add.

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  6. Speaking of money…

    The money that was borrowed from the various City Departments (including the Water Department) is scheduled to be paid back, with interest, “on or before September 1, 2012.”

    Will that be done??

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  7. Shouldn’t the organization’s tax status and the source of revenue (including the funds to pay taxes) have been included in their business plan? They *DID* present a business plan to the city, didn’t they??

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