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Old 02-01-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Hi all... been doing a lot of reading out here over the last couple of weeks, but I can't quite find the answers from either here or numerous other sites/google/etc... so hoping someone in the know might have more insight.

Having lived in downtown St. Louis for years, I love the idea of living in downtown Detroit- I think. I've been reading about crime/etc... but it appears if you stick to some key areas (Midtown, Downtown, Corktown) you should be pretty good. With this said, the big thing keeping me from jumping head first into Detroit living is the 2.5% resident income tax, which really adds up.

Questions:
1. I will work outside of Detroit (between A2 and D-Town), do I need to pay the 2.5% tax?
2. If I maintain residency in my current state, would I still need to pay the 2.5% tax?
3. Are there any zones in Detroit that have an income tax abatement? I have read about some (including GM being granted on recently), but can't find anything that trickles down to individuals who will rent/buy.

If I'm stuck with this tax, I'll probably look at A2, Novi and Plymouth instead so I can avoid it.

Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,330,124 times
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Here's my take: The city income tax is worth the cost if you take advantage of the stuff in the city. If you're like me and spend time going to games, concerts, using the Riverwalk and Campus Martius, walking to restaurants and bars, going to the museum, etc. the tax more than pays for itself, especially considering how much you'll save on parking that you'd otherwise have to spend.

Depending on where you're working, though, you really need to consider the cost of gas and your commute time. If those things matter a lot to you, Ann Arbor and Detroit may both be bad choices. Plymouth has a neat little downtown. It has a few bars and a couple of activities during the year, however, it is very easy to see all of Plymouth in about 10 minutes and get bored. If you do look at Plymouth consider paying the premium to live within walking distance of downtown Plymouth. Pylmouth Township is mostly bland suburbia and if you have to drive to get to downtown Plymouth, I don't see the point. Overall, Plymouth is quaint, pretty quiet, has a lot of families, but is not really geared toward nightlife or entertainment. It is, however, a great place to settle down.

On-the-other-hand, Novi is trying to gear itself toward young people, but it is not a "city" in any sense of the word. It has mall-type bars and restaurants and is completely car-dependent. Personally, I can't stand Novi, but there is some nightlife there, it's just not urban whatsoever. You won't be walking to anything, and you certainly don't want to be going to the bar and then driving out there. Novi is a suburb's attempt to offer something for the under 25 crowd. Don't know if it matters to you, but whenever I go to the bar in Novi, I wonder if I'm on the set of Jersey Shore.

I really like to see people living in Detroit. To me, it's the only place that makes sense if you want the true city experience. Ann Arbor is good compromise, but you have mostly students living downtown AA. Expect a very college-oriented experience. AA is also bike-friendly, even more so than Detroit in my honest opinion, so you can get around that way or take the bus. Forget about mass transit anywhere outside AA and Detroit. Ann Arbor does have a good offering of bars and restaurants and if you're into college sports, UofM is a BigTen school. Ann Arbor can also be expensive, so be prepared for that.

Overall, I'd suggest Ann Arbor if you don't mind the college crowd. You really need to look at your commute time though. Traffic can be bad in Metro Detroit. Conversely, if you can get over the income tax, and Detroit is where you want to be, then it is probably worth it. You can get a pretty good deal on a nice place downtown. If you do go for Detroit, take advantage of the city amenities, many of which are free, and the tax will seem like a pittance. I'm not sure you can "get out of" the city income tax by maintaining a permanent residence elsewhere, but if you are that worried about it, just don't live in Detroit, or at least make sure what you're doing is legal.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Thanks ForStarters. I've read a lot of your posts and they keep making me lean towards D-Town (I love ball games, concerts, nightlife, etc...)... it's just the tax that is turning me off. When you say it's a pittance, that's not really true when it amounts to 33% of the rent I'm being quoted from some nice places downtown. It really makes you stop and wonder.

I'm trying to determine legalities of things, but there seems to be lots of gray areas. I can actually keep my residence in another state if I have 'intent' to return and reside there later (which I do)... so maybe that's the best route... establish a mail forwarding service to maintain residency for $10/month and avoid the tax in downtown Detroit.

Ann Arbor was nice when I was there a couple weeks ago, but it seemed pretty bad in regards to getting to a highway from the downtown area. I could have just gone the wrong way though, but it seemed like it would be a hassle- but I thoroughly enjoyed the area and it's #2 on my list. I'd just rather prefer Pro Ball games and Casinos.

Also, thanks for the info on Novi and Plymouth... I was given that info from a family guy, and that's not really my cup of tea.

If you think of anything else, please let me know.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,330,124 times
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Yeah, "pittance" was probably a poor choice of words, because the tax does sting. Detroit should get rid of it, but honestly, I don't see that happening any time soon. It sounds like you might be able to legitimately avoid it though. I HIGHLY doubt you would ever be questioned about it, but you never know...

Highway access from downtown AA isn't too bad. You can get onto M-14/23 right from North Main. That will get you to I-96 towards Detroit pretty quick. I worked for a firm downtown AA for a few years near 4th and Washington and commuted in from the Detroit suburbs. Traffic was bad during rush hour trying to get out of AA, but usually not bad in the mornings unless 1 lane of M-14 was shut down... then it was hell.

Good luck, and if you need any recommendations on buildings or lofts downtown, I have friends who either live or have lived in most of them.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:43 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,553,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smason1978 View Post
Thanks ForStarters. I've read a lot of your posts and they keep making me lean towards D-Town (I love ball games, concerts, nightlife, etc...)...
Isn't D-town Dallas?
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 4,170,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detwahDJ View Post
Isn't D-town Dallas?
no no no no! D-town has always been Detroit
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,553,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
no no no no! D-town has always been Detroit
Thought Detroit was "The D" because "D-town" was usurped. No?

Last edited by detwahDJ; 02-01-2011 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 4,170,619 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by detwahDJ View Post
Thought Detroit was "The D" because "D-town" was usurped. No?
nope, we're both lol and many more. D-town, "The D", Motown etc
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,330,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
nope, we're both lol and many more. D-town, "The D", Motown etc
Actually, Detective Fitch from Detroit 1-8-7 would disagree with you. There was a whole tiff Between Fitch and an FBI agent from Chicago when she said D-Town, and Fitch said, "Locals don't call it D-Town. This is the D." Funny this came up here on C-D, as it was on tonight's episode. The show has been really good for the past 3-4 episodes, btw.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:44 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,553,396 times
Reputation: 2129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForStarters View Post
Actually, Detective Fitch from Detroit 1-8-7 would disagree with you. There was a whole tiff Between Fitch and an FBI agent from Chicago when she said D-Town, and Fitch said, "Locals don't call it D-Town. This is the D." Funny this came up here on C-D, as it was on tonight's episode. The show has been really good for the past 3-4 episodes, btw.
Strange how that came up just after my post.
What do you think of the new characters gradually being introduced? Seems to me they add a lot.
Hope the humor isn't too subtle for the TV audience (many times it's just a double-take by one of the characters).
Maybe we need a thread on Detroit 187.
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