The New York Times reports that 30 states are looking at running out of funds to pay unemployment compensation in the next few months. Two states have already run out. One is Indiana. One guess as to the other:
Michigan, which has been borrowing money from the federal government for the past few years to replenish its fund, is now $508.8 million in the hole and unable to repay it. Next month the state, where the unemployment rate is more than 9 percent, will begin levying a special â€œsolvency taxâ€ against some employers to replenish its trust fund.
If you’re like me and saying: “What? Solvency tax?” here’s a Detroit News article explaining that the solvency tax will apply to “negative balance” firms – companies whose employees have received more in unemployment benefits than the companies have paid in unemployment insurance taxes (about 34,000) and also the scintillating description of the Solvency Tax from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.
Speaking of news that was news to me; yesterday while checking out a startling story I learned that Ford Field in Detroit will host the 2009 NCAA Final Four (also see the official site). An amazing coup for Ford Field, University of Detroit Mercy and the city of Detroit to be sure.
Detroit’s thinning population is vividly — some would say disturbingly — illustrated in a new map that is creating a buzz in local planning circles.
The map shows how to tuck the land mass of Manhattan (23 square miles), San Francisco (47 square miles) and Boston (48 square miles) — and their combined populations of nearly 3 million people — into Detroit. All three urban areas fit snugly within Detroit’s 139 square miles with room to spare.
It ends with this map showing how you could fit Boston, San Francisco and Manhattan into Detroit and conclusions that if Detroit were to think about all that space – 30% of the city – differently, the results could be truly amazing. Please take the time to read Acres of barren blocks offer chance to reinvent Detroit in the Detroit Free Press.