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Rep. Hansen Clarke outlines jobs program for Detroit

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) is working on legislation that would capture federal taxes paid by people and businesses in Detroit and use the money on redevelopment projects.

In a Labor Day letter to President Obama, Clarke wrote:

First, I would like you to consider supporting a series of federal proposals to create jobs and increase economic growth in and around the City of Detroit:

• A Detroit Jobs Trust Fund bill to capture the federal tax revenues collected from persons and entities in the City of Detroit to be invested in local redevelopment efforts for a period of five years. This fund would be used to reduce the unsustainable debt burden of the City and the Detroit Public School system, to invest in public safety, education, job development initiatives, and infrastructure. This would not only help rectify decades of regional job losses — many of which are attributable to business and policy decisions made outside our region — but also to enable Detroit to grow economically and become a more significant contributor to the federal tax base over the long term.

• A capital gains tax reduction for investments in the City of Detroit. I believe an initiative to eliminate capital gains taxes in the City for a period of one year could attract significant business investment and hiring. It could also serve as a valuable pilot program for spurring growth in economically distressed areas.

• Encourage immigrant investors to create jobs in distressed areas by modifying EB-5 visa requirements. The aim of this modification would be to increase the number of applications and to expedite the application process. The changes would be limited to areas that have unemployment of a given level, have suffered a given amount of population loss relative to the previous decade, or have median incomes of less than a given percentage of the national average.

Clarke told Mlive that he expects to introduce a Detroit Jobs Trust Fund bill later this month.

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