The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 13, 1997 - 5A
pursues plans to
Lights, camera, film festival!
® Company allies with 9
DETROIT (AP) - MGM Grand
Inc., is placing a bet on Detroit and
hoping to come up with a full house.
MGM Grand, one of the nation's top
hotel/casino and entertainment compa-
nies announced yesterday it has formed
a Iliance with nine Detroit business,
c and community leaders in pursuit
of a license to own and operate a casino
"The marriage of MGM Grand's
experience and depth of financial
resources with this distinguished
group of community leaders as our
investment partners will serve Detroit
well," said J. Terrence Lanni, chairman
and chief executive officer of MGM
1GM Grand also announced yester-
day that with its pursuit of a license to
own and operate a casino in Detroit, it
has received a commitment to increase
its credit line to $1 billion.
This ensures MGM Grand has the
immediate ability to finance construc-
tion of a major complex in Detroit in
addition to its development plans else-
where, Lanni said.
The money from that credit would be
to help finance a Detroit casino
and ventures in South Africa, Lanni
William Pickard, owner of Roseville-
based automotive supplier Regal
Plastics Inc., is among the nine Detroit
leaders in the venture.
"Our elected officials have made it
clear that they want a world-class gam-
ing industry in this state," Pickard said.
"Qur partners at MGM Grand embody
t world-class status, and this com-
munity is fortunate that a company with
MGM Grand's financial strength and
reputation for quality and integrity has
set its sights on Detroit."
Lanni said the Detroit partnership
will finalize project plans after requests
for proposals have been issued. lie said
the alliance had not selected a site, but
would wait to see what land city offi-
*t would be premature at this time to
pfopose specific plans for the project,"
Lanni said. "We are prepared to bring to
the people of Detroit and to the State of
Michigan an emotionally engaging
facility that will attract tourists from the
Midwest region, Canada, and from
throughout the world."
Two local casino groups, Greektown
Casino LLC and Atwater
Entertainment Inc., also are vying for
two of the three licenses approved
under language of the November ballot
initiative legalizing casino gambling in
"I think the partnership between
the private sector and the public sec-
tor is imperative," . said Alex
Yemenidijian, president, chief operat-
ing officer and chief financial officer
of MGM Grand.
To really have a very successful
renaissance and for the government to
benefit and for the people to benefit
and for private industries to benefit,
they have to work hand in hand or else
it doesn't work."
He said the nearly four million peo-
ple living in the Detroit area and the
voters' approval for casinos in Detroit
makes the city a prime choice.
"The willingness of the government
and the people, as voted in the referen-
dum, to embrace gaming and entertain-
ment is something that appeals to us a
lot," he said.
MGM Grand owns 100 percent of
the 5,005-room MGM Grand Hotel and
Casino and half interest in the 2,034-
room New York-New York Hotel and
Casino, across from each other on the
Las Vegas Strip.
All the groups must meet standards
set by Archer's staff to reach a develop-
ment agreement, gain ratification of the
agreement from City Council, then be
investigated for background and suit-
ability by the Michigan Gaming
Harrah's Entertainment Inc., also
has said it is interested in building a
casino in Detroit. Phil Satre, presi-
dent of Harrah's said last year they
would wait for gaming rules to be
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who
attempted a hostile takeover of Chrysler
Corp., is the majority stockholder in
Projectionist Aaron Canto prepares a film for public screening at the Gypsy, Cafe on Fourth Street. The screening commit-
tee views more than 300 entries for the 35th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival, which will be held from March 11-16.
ew ayers oose o e
State s no-forn income tax
EAST LANSING (AP) - Gov.
John Engler's proposal to have the
state take over school districts with
low test scores got a poor review from
Michigan's urban mayors yesterday.
Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley said
at a meeting of the Michigan Urban
Core Mayors that the governor's
takeover proposal seemed to be aimed
primarily at city districts.
"The complexion of the districts
being targeted sends a very insidious
message to those of us around this
table:' he said.
Stanley said mayors want to see
school achievement rise, too.
"We don't believe that can be
achieved by importing people who,
don't know our communities," he
The mayoral group, representing
12 Michigan cities, met with lawmak
ers representing urban areas in what
was billed as the first formal meeting
between the two groups.
Grand Rapids Mayor John Logie
said mayors wanted to lay the ground
work for cooperating with lawmakers
to see that cities' needs are addressed.
i think that the importance of this
meeting is really in that it is even tak-
ing place," he said.
He said the mayors want action on
a variety of issues, including an
increase in the gas tax, crime, court
funding and economic development
But Engler's plan to put receivers in
charge of school districts in which
fewer than 20 percent of students pass
the High School Proficiency Test
sparked considerable discussion. As
originally outlined, the plan could
affect more than 130 school districts
large and small, but Engler zeroed in
on districts such as Detroit and
Pontiac Mayor Walter Moore said
the proposal reminded him of com-
plaints that governors and state legis-
lators make about the "Big Brother"
in Washington taking over local pro-
grams and imposing federal man-
"Well, we feel we have some big
brothers and sisters in Lansing" he
LANSING (AP) - Michigan's new
no-form, no-file tax plan is a slow
starter with state taxpayers.
When Gov. John Engler first touted
the plan a year ago, he said as many as
500,000 taxpayers - about one in 10
- could avoid the hassle of filling out
state income tax forms.
But early returns show hardly anyone
is signing up, according to yesterday's
Lansing State Journal.
"I'm guessing a couple of hundred.
That's not a whole lot," said Ron
Rhoda, acting revenue commissioner.
Engler made the no-form, no-file plan
a centerpiece of his 1996 State of the
State address. He hailed it as "America's
simplest form" - no form at all.
The governor said it would be of par-
ticular benefit to students, renters and
others who don't claim credits or many
But word has been slow to spread,
and participation slower still, even at
places like Michigan State University.
"The last I checked, there were less
than a handful. Two or three," said
David Brower, Michigan State con-
troller. "People are just becoming aware
of the program."
Rashanda Corley, a Michigan State
junior who works at the Holmes Hall
said she was
unfamiliar with I 5UE
the new option.
"I do the couple of
and it's not real- That's not
ly any trouble. ,
It only takes les
about 10 min-
utes or so," she
said. Acting revenu
new MI-W4 forms with their employers
before the end of their first pay period
of 1997. Employers needed to send
them to the Treasury Department by
- Rn Rdhnda
ees can still sign
up for the option,
as can current
workers if they
have had the right
amount of taxes
withheld by their
I n d iv i du a I
taxpayers who earn less than $100 in
interest or non-wage income - or joint
filers with less than $200 in non-wage
income - are eligible for the no-form
option, which took effect this year. All
taxpayers have to fill out forms for their
To choose the no-form option for
1997, workers were to have filled out
commissioner warned that no-
filers may end up
paying more than they would if they
filed a tax form. To guard against that,
the exemption certificate reads that the
option "may not be for everyone."
Nonfilers are still eligible for person-
al exemptions and home-heating cred-
its, but they can't take advantage of oth-
ers, including the homestead property
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