Good Jobs Now Calls On Matty Moroun To Pay Taxes

The Wall Street Journal

Rally says billionaire does not cover his fair share

DETROIT – Using Tax Day to declare that billionaire Matty Moroun hasn’t paid his fair share, more than 300 hundred residents protested at his Warren office Tuesday to point up the nearly $8 million he owes in federal, state and property taxes.

More than 300 people marched Tuesday afternoon for the Good Jobs Now’s Tax Day rally. The event took place in front of CenTra Inc.’s headquarters in Warren, Michigan.

Representatives of Good Jobs Now protested and rallied for an hour outside Moroun’s CenTra office at 12225 Stephen Road in Warren. Two protesters manned an oversized Moroun puppet that was eventually handcuffed to symbolize Moroun as a scofflaw. Neither Moroun nor any officials from his company met with the protesters. Officers from the Warrren Police Department arrived, but no arrests were made.

“MATTY MOROUN, PAY YOUR TAXES! MATTY MOROUN PAY YOUR TAXES,” protesters shouted as they encircled the front of his building. Passersby shot video and honked their horns.

“We’re standing up for the cause….of Matty Moroun,” said Quran Calhoun, 36 of Detroit. “I think his employees, his business were a little distracted today.”

Moroun, who is said to be worth $1.5 billion, owes $2.4 million in state taxes, $5.1 million in federal taxes and $200,000 in property taxes, according to published reports and Wayne County records.

Noted Charlie Bolden, a 60-year-old entrepreneur from Detroit: “I think he should pay his fair share of taxes.”

The protest was the third by Good Jobs Now targeting Moroun, whose companies own the Ambassador Bridge and the Michigan Central train station.

In June 2011, the group cleaned up the land around six of 400 vacant properties owned by Moroun, then attempted to drop the garbage from those sites off at his Warren office. Security for the building, as well as officers from the Warren Police Department, stood guard to prevent the garbage from being delivered.

The trash hauled from those sites was enough to fill a 24-foot U-Haul truck. A makeshift “Matty” was presented with a bill for the cleanup services, along with job applications to show that such trash removal could have provided work for Detroiters.

That same month, nearly 1,000 people rallied in front of the vacant train depot and pointed out the need for Moroun to clean up the more than 500 properties that he owns.

Good Jobs Now is a broad coalition of community groups, faith leaders, concerned citizens and the labor sector that is committed to solving the issues facing our neighborhoods and holding decision-makers and elected officials accountable for creating jobs.