It’s All About HYPE…

The Arab American News has this article about HYPE.
Dearborn Heights and all the HYPE
Dearborn Heights and all the HYPE
By Amer Zahr
Friday, 02.01.2013, 04:33pm
Everyone knows that Dearborn, Michigan is the center of Arab America. It contains the largest concentration of Arabs anywhere in America. Its main drag, Warren Avenue, is lined with stores, shops, restaurants, and cafes run, owned, and frequented by Arab Americans. Signs displayed in Arabic are the norm. It is home to the one and only Arab-American National Museum.
Dearborn is the Arab Disneyland. In the span of a few hours, you can enjoy a shawarma, a hookah, and a demonstration.
There is no place like it. Well, there was no place like it. Adjacent to Dearborn lays the city of Dearborn Heights. Dearborn is mostly characterized by smaller homes and bungalows. Dearborn Heights has some bigger homes and is generally viewed as a bit “higher” than Dearborn. Maybe that’s where they got the name.
Arab Americans have been living in Dearborn Heights for a long time, but Dearborn has always been the hub. In the past 15 years or so, as many Arab-Americans have done well for themselves (we do have a very high rate of college graduation after all), thousands have moved to Dearborn Heights. There, they can enjoy bigger yards while still being basically connected to Dearborn and its community. As a result, Ford Road, Dearborn Heights’ main thoroughfare, has become filled with Arab American owned and themed establishments. I’m smoking a hookah in Dearborn Heights as I write this column. In Dearborn Heights, one might say that Arabs have “exploded” onto the scene.
The transformation of Dearborn Heights is evident to everyone, and perhaps none more so than the white population there, who for many generations had no company. And in case you didn’t know, when we Arabs move in, we move really move in. We bring our markets, our language, our customs, and our cousins.
That brings me to the current case of HYPE (Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence). HYPE Athletics was created in 2001, and its stated mission is “to create and strengthen infrastructures that support the positive development of Wayne County youth.”  HYPE conducts training camps, leagues, and tournaments in various sports. It also provides free in-school and after-school social services to youth and their families.
HYPE Athletics Recreation Center located on Warren Ave. in Dearborn Heights.

HYPE is a federally registered nonprofit organization, meaning it is tax exempt. After receiving assurances from the city, including a council resolution recognizing its nonprofit status, HYPE built a 104,000 square foot recreation center in Dearborn Heights to further its mission and objectives. The center opened to the general public on May 4, 2012.

The city of Dearborn Heights now, however, has decided that HYPE is not nonprofit at all and has assessed the group almost $200,000 in property taxes. HYPE had predicated its entire project on pledges from the city and its mayor, Dan Paletko, that it would not be assessed such fees. HYPE will not be able to survive with the tax burden the city is now imposing.
The city of Dearborn Heights is claiming that HYPE does not offer its services “without restrictions” since it charges a membership fee. However, the Michigan Supreme Court has held that a nonprofit charitable institution “can charge for its services as long as the charges are not more than what is needed for its successful maintenance.”  HYPE maintains that its membership fees are necessary in order to ensure it can effectively provide services.
Now I’ve told you everything I’ve told you so far to now tell you this. While this may all seem like a garden-variety tax dispute between government and a nonprofit institution, it is much more. HYPE’s founder and CEO is Ali Sayed, an Arab American Muslim born and raised in Dearborn. HYPE’s center employs and serves many Arab Americans, as well as any and all community members, including African-Americans, whites, and anyone else. Its Parent Advisory Board and Youth Board include almost 40 Arab Americans who volunteer their time to help HYPE achieve its goals. In other words, Arab American members of the community have built, supported, and enhanced HYPE.
This reality has not been lost on Marge Horvath, a member of the Dearborn Heights City Council, who once referred to HYPE as “that Arab center.”  Good thing for Ms. Horvath that we are Arabs. If we were black and she had said something like that, CNN and Al Sharpton would be here the next day.
Uttering discriminatory statements about Arabs seems entirely acceptable. Arabs are the only group that white people are still allowed to openly talk about in a racist manner. I almost feel bad trying to take that last bastion of prejudice from them. Almost.
There is no price to voicing uneasiness about Arabs. No politicians are called out. No leaders are truly held to account. Maybe Al Sharpton can change his name to Ali for a couple days and make his way up here. Maybe we can learn a few things from him.
It’s hard not to imagine to how the case HYPE vs. Dearborn Heights has an element of racism to it. Why wouldn’t a city like Dearborn Heights be excited that a nonprofit organization like HYPE was running a massive recreation center within its limits?  Why wouldn’t Dearborn Heights encourage HYPE, a group that invokes and encourages civic duty and a commitment to community?  One would think that Dearborn Heights would help HYPE solidify its nonprofit status instead of challenging it.
The city must know that it will most likely never get the tax money it is now looking for. If HYPE is not granted nonprofit status by Dearborn Heights, the only outcome will be the closing of its doors. Sadly, to some in the city, that will be seen as a victory.
– Amer Zahr is an Arab-American stand-up comedian and writer. Drawing on his experiences growing up as a child of Palestinian refugees, he finds the humor in everyday cultural situations. Visit http://www.amerzahr.com.
The Press and Guide writes this about HYPE.

HYPE founder/CEO fighting $200K tax bill

By Joe Slezak
Press & Guide Newspapers
Twitter: @joeslezak1

File photo by Joe Slezak Ali Sayed, founder and CEO of the HYPE Recreation Center, stands in the library/resource room late last year. While HYPE might be best known for its athletic facilities, it offers other services, as well.

View and purchase photos

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Ali Sayed is worried.Angry, too, that his dream is being threatened.

Sayed, 32, is founder and CEO of Helping Youth Progress & Excel, which fully opened the HYPE Recreation Center in May at 23302 W. Warren Ave.

His concern isn’t about how many people are coming through the doors — HYPE has sold about 1,500 memberships and has nearly 4,000 members, which pleases him.

He’s worried that HYPE is facing nearly $200,000 in property, real and personal tax bills that he says it shouldn’t owe because it is a federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.

The city disagrees, and has sent three tax bills.

The city has maintained that HYPE’s application was defective; Sayed disagrees.

Mayor Dan Paletko said Monday that it’s not up to him or the City Council to determine if an organization can receive a state property tax exemption.

“It’s not a political decision,” he said. “It’s not a decision I can grant.

“The key to influencing the decision is fixing the application and providing the information. … If you’re qualified, you’re qualified.”

Paletko said he isn’t sure what is deficient about the application because he’s not an expert in the field.

The matter is before the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

Sayed said last week that if HYPE has to pay the taxes, it will have to lay off 15 of its 57 employees and cut some programs, like free after-school tutoring.

He said about 6,000 children in several area communities received free tutoring in 2012. It also has held campaigns to help charitable groups like The Salvation Army, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and the Coats for Kids Foundation.

HYPE’s annual budget is about $1.4 million.

“It’s going to cause drastic changes to the organization,” Sayed said. “We are at risk now. Day in and day out, we’re accounting for these taxes.”

HYPE filed the appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal last January. A prehearing is scheduled for April 3, and a full hearing will be set after that. If the tribunal rules in favor of the city, Sayed said HYPE and its attorney will take the matter to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

If HYPE loses there, Sayed said the organization will pay the taxes, cut programs and lay off the 15 employees.

He said he simply wants HYPE recognized as a nonprofit organization similar to the YMCA, YWCA or The Salvation Army, but without a religious aspect, and he said he’s tried “diplomatic approaches.”

“The reason has to be discriminatory — there’s no other reason to come into play,” Sayed said, adding that he’s heard his facility has been labeled as “Arab center” by some city officials — not Paletko — though it is open to everyone.

He said he’s heard rumors that HYPE is going to fail or be taken over by the city. He said the organization has lost donors and grants.

Sayed recently posted a Facebook message to supporters that said HYPE is facing “racial discrimination” and its 14th Amendment rights of due process and equal protection of the laws are being violated.

“HYPE is very proud of the diverse environment within the center,” he wrote. “The issue stands that the effect of the decision by the city and the mayor will be directed at the thousands (of) families that we serve. We need to realize that white, black or green, rich or poor, short or tall, HYPE relieves the city of a burden that it cannot meet” because it doesn’t have a comprehensive, city-owned recreation center like in Dearborn or Livonia, for example.

HYPE supporters also have started an online campaign at GoPetition.com to urge the city to recognize HYPE as a nonprofit, charitable, tax-exempt organization and to permanently eliminate its tax bill.

Sayed also is asking supporters to send letters to the tribunal. And, he plans to hold a press/community conference in February to state his case. A date has not been set.

“We at HYPE Athletics Community want nothing more but to be supported by the entire city and its elected officials,” Sayed wrote in an email to supporters. “We hope that those elected officials as well as appointed officials stand in alliance with us and the rest of the community.”

He added that HYPE’s goal is “a positive outcome and relationship” with Paletko and the City Council.

The land previously was owned by Wayne County, making it tax exempt. When 36 acres was transferred to HYPE on Dec. 30, 2010, the city determined that the land became taxable, which Paletko said is a legal, not political, question.

Of the 36 acres, HYPE followed through on plans to return about 29 to the county after using about $7.8 million in federal and state grants to clean the entire parcel. Street cleaner waste was dumped there before 1970.

“Back to the public, as we promised,” Sayed said.

Paletko said last year that the city did not take the tax decision lightly, and consulted with attorney Derk Beckerleg of the law firm Secrest Wardle in Troy, who specializes in property tax appeals and zoning matters. He agreed with the city in a letter he sent in July.

“With respect to nonprofit charitable institutions, the courts have generally held that nonprofit organizations seeking an exemption from property taxes as a charitable institution must show that their activities, when taken as a whole, constitute a charitable gift for the benefit of the general public without restriction or for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons,” he wrote.

Some of HYPE’s programs are free, but there are membership fees. It offers discounted rates to needy families.

HYPE cited a state law that says, “Real or personal property owned and occupied by a nonprofit charitable institution while occupied by that nonprofit charitable institution solely for the purposes for which that nonprofit charitable institution was incorporated is exempt from the collection of taxes under this act.”

The state Supreme Court previously established a six-point list that determines if an organization is a “charitable institution,” and Sayed said HYPE meets all six:

•It must be a nonprofit institution.

•It must be organized chiefly, but not solely, for charity.

•It must serve any person who needs the type of charity offered. It cannot choose who deserves those services based on the person not being part of a chosen group.

•It must follow provisions set forth in United Methodist Church Inc. v. Sylvan Township, a 1982 ruling that says a charity must follow existing laws and benefit an “indefinite number of persons” through public buildings or works that lessens the “burdens of government.”

•It can charge for services as long as the charges go toward maintaining the services.

•It must meet the financial standards of a charitable organization.

HYPE’s mission “is to create and strengthen infrastructures that support the positive development of youth through athletic participation and competition, educational tutoring and literacy development, and social awareness with mentoring, counseling, life skills training and substance abuse education and prevention.”

The 104,000-square-foot center, which cost $11 million to build, has five basketball/volleyball courts, a 1/8-mile track above the courts, separate men’s and women’s weight training rooms, a computer lab, a library/resource room, classrooms and a room that can be used for meetings. About 35,000 square feet was to be used by Zaman International, a Dearborn-based charity, but it decided not to use the space. It owns the space and is leasing it to HYPE.

HYPE also has an office at 15544 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, that houses much of its administration and some of its nonathletic programs. The city exempted HYPE from paying property taxes.

Sayed, a Dearborn High School graduate, founded HYPE in 2001, and it received federal nonprofit status in 2007. Its programs have been based in several communities. In 2006, Sayed created a business plan with the aim of opening what’s now the HYPE Recreation Center. He visited 30 sites and chose the county-owned land on Warren Avenue with the blessing of city officials, he said.

The building and land have been assessed at about $2.5 million by the city, though officials have said that it’ll be assessed at nearly $5.3 million when the building is determined to be finished.

Paletko said he supports HYPE.

“They do some good programming over there,” he said. “I’m tired of being a political football.

“It’s implying something that is not true. It’s not helping the cause.

“The organization getting it or not getting it is fact-based.”

Contact Staff Writer Joe Slezak at 1-734-246-0835 or jslezak@heritage.com. Follow him on Twitter @ JoeSlezak1.

Here is one comment left on the Press and Guide article by Mohammad Hussaini.
Mayor Paletko, you say this is not political. Well politics is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case it will be in the eyes of the voters and former supporters. You should do something fast and dramatic to turn this into a win win for you and the City, otherwise you will lose and the City will lose. Time is running out. Once the decision is out of your hands it will be too late. There will be no going back. The voters and supporters will remember you come election time.
Over the years Mayor Paletko has enjoyed the financial and vote support of the Arab American community now however I hear from many in the community that this won’t be the case if the Mayor indeed is going to run again this year. I have a different take on why the Mayor is doing this yes it’s a legal issue as Chirs wrote in a comment at the Press and Guide saying this,
Why does this have to an arab vs. non-arab thing? If there’s a legal disagreement then fine, fight that out the proper way. But bringing race into it when someone isn’t getting their way is insulting to people who really do face true racism.
My take on why the Mayor would have even gone ahead and got a legal opinion about this issue after stating in-front of no less than 6 witness that HYPE wouldn’t be charged property taxes is this. It’s in his political interest to do so no more no less. When I was running for City Council the non-Arab Americans were not shy about calling the Mayor an “Arab Lover” as if that was a bad thing trust me it wasn’t pleasant hearing these things coming out of the mouths of my fellow residents, but that’s how many feel. HYPE  seen by many non-Arab Americans as an “Arab thing” their words again something I hear over and over as do some of the council members and  I’m sure the Mayor.
The Mayor needs his non-Arab American votes while the Arab Americans give him the financial backing he needs the non-Arab Americans manly the absentee voting block give him the vote.  This year all indications are that the Mayor will run again he needs to show the non-Arab Americans that he’s not a ‘Arab Lover’. HYPE is the answer to that he can show them that he doesn’t have to say a word they’re all getting the message loud and clear.
Even if the City doesn’t win the case the Mayor still comes out on top you see he can go before them and say see I tried and it didn’t work. In the meantime the damage is done the obvious division in the City non-Arab American against the Arab American rages on. Something every Council Member has said to me over the years is very evident and something they aren’t happy about, but have no idea what to do about.
This is just my opinion take it for what it’s worth, but there is some history to what I’m saying and if in doubt look at the Mayors contribution list numbers don’t lie. I know writing this is going to bring out the most disgusting comments as history has shown on this blog anything Arab related does. Here is what I’m going to do in the past the most vile of these comments I’ve deleted because I didn’t want to start anything and I didn’t want the Arab Americans living in this city to feel the hate that their fellow residents have for them. This time however all comments no matter how vial or hateful they are will be going up. For those of you who have been coming here for a long time be forewarned these comments in the past have contained vulgar language. I will be putting them up as is it’s time for everyone to see what there really is here in Dearborn Heights.
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30 thoughts on “It’s All About HYPE…”

  1. If turkia mullins hands were involved, it doesn’t pass the sniff test.
    Taint is all over everything that involves her, and the ficano admid.
    I don’t see how my children will lose out. Our city offers a decent amount
    Of activities. As far as a learning center, we have the those, they are called
    Schools. They have resources there. I’m not sold on all this “hype”.
    Remember, you hav pay to play there.

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  2. Bitsy08, thanks for the advice. Still getting used to the internet. Here is what I understand about the situation,.

    When the mayor and council were presented with HYPE they were very supportive of the project.

    According to County Commissioner Kevin McNamara this deal was fast-tracked by HYPE and Wayne County .None of the other Wayne County commssioners knew anything about it and as a result had no say in the matter.

    Hype bought more that 7 acres of county parkland for $1.00 per acre from the county. This project was also toted by Turkia Mullin of the Ficano (Fiasco) administration.

    In its deal with HYPE. federal oficials and the county agreed that Wayne County would benefit from the project “by an increase in the county’s tax base”, which is according to the development agreement with the county.

    This 7 million dollar project was bankrolled by the U.S Housing and Urban Development /HUD. HUD had some problems with the project because HYPE was using a former county aide as a consultant whose spouse ran an engineering company that worked on the project.

    HYPE is exempt from federal income tax and is a registered federal nonprofit. However, the standards for property tax expemtions are different.

    Federally speaking HYPE is considered a non-profit but property tax expemtion is a whole different matter.It appears that HYPE did not get the proper paperwork for the property tax exempt status and that is the crux of the whole matter.

    I feel Mr. Sayad has only good intentions when building HYPE but was “had” by the political system. He wanted a rec center where kids could go to not only for sports but as a learning center and help center for children having difficulty with their studies. A very commendable project .It seems to me that his political consultants did not give him the advise of how to file for property exempt status which seems intentional on their part as they claimed it would “increase the county tax base”

    From what I have read, it was labeld “that Arab center” by a Dearborn Heights councilmember and therefore the door to Racist Room was opened and Mr. Sayed responded by going through that door in defense of HYPE.

    The bottom line here is that in the end our children might pay the price if this center has to close. This is the biggest shame of all.

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  3. Checked on the ymca’s website. They have been a non profit for over 150 yrs. And they are also christian based. So they have both bases covered.

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  4. The only way I’m privvy to this information is because I used Google to find out. As far as what’s going on in your city, you know from here what’s going on. As to why the city won’t sit down with you (or the public)? The answer is because they don’t have to. They filed the paperwork with the proper LEGAL entity and are awaiting their decision – as should Mr. Sayed. As to the tax money, there are nine cities that have been appropriating a portion of the tax money and they’re doing it because they’ve done it for the last several years without repurcussion and because “they say” there is a loophole in the law that allows them to do it. They are saying that there is nothing in the law that exempts the zoo millage or art authority millage from being captured. Other cities who have NOT captured any of the money are saying it’s illegal. All are waiting for a court decision and I would presume that if there are any court costs, they would be shared by all nine cities.;

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  5. You are so right bitsy. Crying to the public isn’t going to do crap. The mtt will make there decision on facts and laws, not opinions. They follow the law just like I’ve said.

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  6. Bitsy08,

    I guess I am not privy to the information you have regarding the paperwork in this matter.

    While I agree it is now in the hands of the Michigan Tax Tribunal and it is their decision that counts and my opinion holds no sway at all over the subject; it does matter to me. I am the type of person that wants to hear both sides of any story and I want to hear it straight from each side’s mouth not some regurgitated he said she said. I also feel that as a tax paying citizen it is my right to know what is going on in my city and my responsibility to stay abreast of things that are happening in my city and ask pertinent questions..

    It does make me wonder why Mr. Sayad is willing to talk about this publicly but our city leaders are not. If there is nothing to hide why are they so afraid of talking about it to the public. I am especially leery of our city government since that are “capturing” monies from the Zoo fund that was democratically voted for by the residents of Wayne County. To add salt to the wound they are now with some other cities suing to keep that money and who is paying for the legal fees for them to sue – the tax paying citizens of Dearborn Heights.

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  7. They are two separate issue if you feel it’s fine that the Mayor runs around saying such things that’s fine I’m not okay with that. As for the paperwork that’s for the powers that be to sort out. Thanks for the correction took care of it..

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  8. God. It doesn’t have anything to do with what he can deliver or what “arrangements” he made. It has to do with filling out the proper paperwork – ON A YEARLY BASIS – to remain tax-free. Sayed SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT. If he took it to mean anything else, then that’s his stupidity.

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  9. bitsy08

    Not blaming the Mayor for everything just wish the man would stop saying things he can’t deliver on this isn’t the first time he’s done such things. He has no authority to make such an offer irregardless of paperwork or not he shouldn’t be offering such arrangements with anyone ever it’s misleading at best. Further more my comments are about the big picture and I’ve watched the man operate for a number of years there is always a reason behind what he does and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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  10. I also stated, Grandm, that I would think paperwork has to be filled out yearly for HYPE to remain tax-free. Just because their organization was tax-free when they first came to DH doesn’t mean that they are in subsequent years. They might have done something that removes their tax-free status. I Googled it and the IRS site states that paperwork must be filled out yearly. Besides. DH says they didn’t COMPLETE the paperwork. What I don’t understand is why all the “hype” about this? The Tax Tribunal will hand down its decision in April. Their decision will prove who was right or wrong. Besides – again. With all due respect. Your opinion doesn’t count here. Only the decision of the Tax Tribunal counts. Does Mr. Sayed think if he “takes it to the public” it will somehow impact the decision? I have my doubts. As far as your question about it being racism or politics? Neither. It’s simply a matter of filling out the proper paperwork – IN ITS ENTIRETY – to remain tax-free.

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  11. And if Sayed was an intelligent business man and fully understanding of his organization, he would have – OR SHOULD HAVE – known that it was an understated fact on the part of the mayor. Once again. Lord knows I’m not a fan of Paletko’s but you seem to want to blame him for everything. IF he made that statement, Sayed should have known that without filling out the proper paperwork, there would be nothing Paletko could do to make his organization tax-free. SO WHAT if he (Paletko) made the statement? As far as I’m concerned, if Sayed thought that Paletko would wave his magic wand and designate HYPE as tax-free without the proper paperwork being filled out, he should let someone else run his organization. Your argument just doesn’t hold water, Kathy. Look back to your first sentence. That’s what Sayed should have done. Besides. All DH is saying is that Sayed didn’t COMPLETE the paperwork and because of that, he’s lost his tax-free status. ALL he has to do is complete – not file – complete – the paperwork.

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  12. At the beginning of the month I posted a response to Bitsy that she was spot on about HYPE needing the right paperwork and that the request for proper paperwork wasn’t a race issue…………………..However, it has been pointed out to me from various people that have my email that if HYPE didn’t have the right paperwork in the beginning why did the City of Dearborn Heights administration not only allow them to build the center but actually supported it? Good question..

    Is it racism. Is it politics? Or is it a matter of both.

    Mr. Sayad is more than willing to hold a public informational meeting to explain his side, yet our city administration hides behind “its in litigation so we can’t speak of it”.

    All I want is to hear both sides, ask some questions and then form my own opinion.

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  13. I would believe that there is a difference between the “Y” and HYPE. As you pointed out, the “Y” is a religious-based organization. I don’t believe HYPE IS and therefore there lies the difference, or at least part of the difference. But to clarify – you state – the only way HYPE would qualify for tax exempt status is if they were a registered religious organization. Not true. Just as some “charitable contributions” are allowed to be claimed on your taxes, others are not. As to your statement: the State of Michigan determines this, not the cities, this is what I read when looking up the information: Nonprofit organizations are subject to federal, state and local taxation unless they qualify for tax exempt status. The concept of a “nonprofit organization” is usually a state law concept. The concept of a “tax-exempt organization” is principally a federal law concept. I’m sure that your IRS agent didn’t have all the facts to make a complete and intelligent decision.

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  14. I am SO tired of people in our city – THAT’S ONE CITY, FOLKS – designating themselves from the north end or the south end. Our city is in dire straights and part of the reason is that we have 2 – YES, TWO – senior centers when all cities surrounding us – WITH FAR MORE PEOPLE AND FAR MORE SQUARE MILEAGE – have one. We also have 2 – YES, TWO – libraries when all cities surrounding us – WITH FAR MORE PEOPLE AND FAR MORE SQUARE MILEAGE – have one. We could close one senior center and put that money into ONE BETTER CENTER. If we hadn’t built two libraries, we could have put all the tax money designated for the libaries into ONE LIBRARY and have a far nicer library. As long as this city and ALL it’s politicians put one of anything in the south end and one in the north end, they encourage division in our city.

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  15. I am a southend resident myself, have been for over 47 years. I requested a meeting between HYPE and the City Council with a question and answer period afterwards. This request was to our mayor, council members and the direcctor of HYPE, Mr. Sayad.

    However, I received only one response from out city government and that was from Councilwoman Horvath and she said that since this subject is in litigation now nothing can be said on the matter. Mr. Sayad personally invited my to come see the center and talk with him, in addition, he wrote the council asking for the subject of HYPE to be placed on the council agenda for tomorrow.

    Now I would like to address Southendresident. Do you know of any non-Muslim child that has been denied admission to HYPE or has been discriminated against by HYPE? Why are you so angry that our Middle Eastern residents are willing to work hard for the good of their children and ours; as this whole matter boils down to what is good for all our children. We in the southend should learn from them and get a HYPE here. .

    As far as the south end rec center not being used, you are wrong. My grandson plays in one of many basketball leagues held there. You can hardly move around when the games are going on, it is so crowded. There are residents that use the fitness center. On several occassions our family has rented out the banquet room for doings. They hold dances there for Best school. The list goes on and on. Just because you do not use it doesn’t mean it isn’t being used. I could say the same for the senior centers. Even though I am a senior I don’t use it. However, just because I don’t use it doesn’t mean I want it taken away from the people that do enjoy it. Centers for kids and seniors is a win-win situation for any city Let’s not let racism ruin this for us..

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  16. Horvath had it right when I heard her call this place the Arab center I thought to myself now that’s someone who has the guts to call it like it is. Hell yes it’s the Arab Center from HYPE’s conception oh how short the memories are did all of us forget who in Wayne County got them this land and the money to build it. Who’s in charge of HYPE who sits on the board of HYPE right down to the person who brought them before the council so they too could kiss the ring of HYPE through a resolution.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Mayor offered them something as was reported sometime back sounds just like something he’d do. If he did, so what, either you have your paper work in order or you don’t. Having lived here for over 30 years and being white I don’t get to hide behind some bullshit made up racism charge to get out of paying my taxes. What a bunch of shit because you screwed the pooch you want to get the natives all up in arms and start crying about how you’re not welcome here in the City because you’re Arab. What’s next all the Arab home owners are going to claim they don’t have to pay property taxes here because they’re treated badly.

    Just how bad can it be for you here in the City I haven’t heard news reports of your homes or business being vandalized, I don’t see Arabs being beaten in the streets of this City. I haven’t heard about any verbal abuse not one single incident in any news media. I’m not saying it’s not here in the City oh it is most do not want Arabs in the City and that’s been very clear during recent elections, but to cry racism as the reason the City is asking you to pay your tax bill is ludicrous.

    I already pay for recreation centers when I pay my property tax bill. Over here on the south end we have a recreation center most of us don’t use, but we pay for it. If we want to use it we have to pay again for it at least that’s what I’ve been told. Now if there’s a recreation center on this end of town why would you think that anyone would drive all the way to the other end of town to use a recreation center that we’re not welcome in. There’s never been an effort made by the Arab population to get involved with us white folks the opposite you stay with your own kind and don’t want anything to do with the rest of us.

    Look around folks this City has bigger problems then the HYPE Center if you want to put your energy into something use it to make our City better not make the divide that’s here larger. Go to the Council meetings call your Council members this City is looking bad do any of you notice?

    For all my fellow Arab residents when’s the last time you came to the south end of the city? Have you ever been to the south end of city? Do you even know where it is? Streets are falling apart all over the city the city is closed one day a week, but all of that doesn’t matter the only concern you have is how HYPE’s being treated. I call this misplaced concern I would like to see you use this energy on the City as a whole maybe if the rest of us saw you cared about something that wasn’t Arab we might think you are a part of this City.

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  17. Funny I thought the coments were always opinion based? Isnt that why were all talking….boy the world would be a boring place if we all agreed all the time…

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  18. Never would I take that man or anyone else word for something so serious. I’m not saying that at all just find it strange how he would say such a thing to get them here and then so easily wash his hands of them. He’s done this before so it’s not surprising to hear he told them this, but no and from everything I’ve been told HYPE filed all the paper work, but then again only time will tell. As for the Mayor may I suggest that he doesn’t make promises to people he has no authority to act on.

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  19. Once again, Kathy, I would think that in order to remain a non-profit, paperwork has to be filled out again and again and again, possibly even yearly. And I’m sure the mayor meant they wouldn’t be taxed as long as the proper paperwork was filled out and they continued to be non-profit ACCORDING TO THE LAW. And Sayed should know that as long as his organization remains non-profit – ACCORDING TO THE LAW – that his organization WILL be tax free. Are you inferring that just because the mayor told Sayed his organization would be tax-free that that meant he (Sayed) didn’t have to fill out the proper paperwork? Once again. What’s race got to do with it? Either he follows the law or his organization isn’t tax-free. I reiterate. What a bunch of crap!

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  20. The reason the ymca doesn’t pay taxes has to do with fact of seperation of church and state. The ymca is a registered christian organization.
    The only way hype would qualify for tax exempt status, if they were a registered religious organization.
    Hype there for is not, and can’t claim the same status.
    They are not a apples to apples situation.
    I asked an accountant, who is also a former irs agent, and he was the one who told me this. Also, he said the state of michigan determines this, not the cities.
    However, what ever the state says, the city has to comply and inforce the tax codes.

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  21. There is one issue that seems to be overlooked. Being designated a non-profit organization is NOT the same as being exempt from property taxes. Non-profit status is determined by IRS and means that the organization is exempt from paying income and sales tax. The law regulating non-profit status does not speak to property taxes.

    Exemption from property tax is determined by the State, not IRS. The federal government does not control property taxes, the State does. Neither the mayor nor the Council has the legal authority to grant, or promise, any entity exemption from property taxes. Only the city assessor, following the state’s legal requirements, can do so.

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  22. bitsy08

    I have indeed spoken with a member of the Council who did confirm that the Mayor has said things like this in the past to other business and or organizations looking to come into the City. I’m sure the testimony of the individuals who heard all of this will come to light if needed. I don’t know about Mr. Sayed taking it to the people I just put what the Press and Guide and the Arab American News wrote about the subject and my opinion as to how this will benefit the Mayor in the end. As for the Council, the Mayor doesn’t inform them of anything he doesn’t absolutely have to and even then it’s done with minimal amount of facts given.

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  23. Bitsy you are spot on. If the paperwork was not filled out properly the problem has been caused by Mr. Sayed not by “racism”.

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  24. I think the Hype center should pay taxes
    Just like everyone else ..stop the damn race card I don’t care if your blAck blue purple or green ….I don’t care if your Arab or Greek Mexican …hype should have to pay taxes
    Just like everyone of us bottom line …your not a non profit it’s bs …

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  25. According to an article I read in Patch the other day, the Dearborn Press & Guide was told that the reason DH assessed and invoiced HYPE for taxes was because the organization’s non-profit application was incomplete. IF they haven’t filled out paperwork properly to make their non-profit legal, then they need to do so. As they say – ignorance of the law doesn’t mean you’re not guilty. It doesn’t matter how many people they get to sign the petition. If they haven’t followed the law, they’re not eligible. I’m sure the Tax Tribunal will sort it all out.
    But let’s now discuss him using race for HIS reasoning behind this whole mess. Why would he think it’s race-related? Did he or did he not fill out the paperwork properly? If he didn’t and all he has to do is correct that, then RACE IS NOT THE ISSUE. I’m pretty sure people know that I’m not a fan of Paletko’s but if what he says is true, then I take offense at Mr. Sayed telling Paletko that the Arab-AMERICAN population won’t stand up for him in the way of political support if he doesn’t fix the problem. Seems like a veiled threat to me. According to Paletko, it’s not for him to fix the problem; it’s up to Sayed. One other thing I’d like to point out. It’s been my experience that when people set themselves up as the “authority for a group” they really don’t have the right to speak for anyone but themselves. The fact that Mr. Sayed feels that because he’s been wronged (his words, not mine) he feels that the WHOLE ARAB neighborhood will rise up and support him and make Mr. Paletko sorry at the polls. It’s all about him. Talk about hype! You may think that just because Dearborn is the “center of Arab-America” that gives you the right to ignore the laws laid down to protect ALL Americans – for ALL Americans.

    I also have to say, Kathy, that this “reporting” seems to be very one-sided. Did you interview anyone on the council to back up the mayor’s claim? Does Mr. Sayed think that just because he’s going to “take it to the people” it will change the LEGAL ruling of the Tax Tribunal? And why wouldn’t he just wait for the ruling? Why all this hullabaloo? When the mayor told him Sayed’s organization would be tax-exempt, I would think he meant with the PROPER PAPERWORK filled out.
    As far as I’m concerned, this whole thing is a bunch of crap. If Sayed filled out the paperwork properly, the Tribunal will find in his favor. If they back up the city, then HE needs to fix it and re-submit. It’s that simple. As far as I can see, the only one who brought race into this is him.

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