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Posted on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:10 a.m.

Voters should reject proposed tax increases in Ypsilanti

By Letters to the Editor

In May, the City of Ypsilanti is putting on the ballot two tax increase/millage proposals. This is due to mismanagement/bad decisions of funds by elected politicians.

To the voters/taxpayers:

1) Look at your paycheck (if you are still working) and your property tax bill. Do you want/need/can you afford some more taxes?

2) Why should the voters/taxpayers pay for the elected politicians’ major malfunctions with your tax dollars? Go after the elected politicians that created this severe shortfall of money. Go after their home/car/bank account. Let them pay for their bad decisions/mismanagement.

If both of these tax increases pass, all of the employees at Eastern Michigan University (and other businesses) who live outside of the city will be paying a half percent city income tax and never have a chance to vote/express their displeasure in another tax increase. Is this fair to the EMU (and other business) employees? I hope that Ypsilanti Township has a lot of land/buildings to hold the EMU (and other business) employees when they move some of their offices to the township.

Do not let the scare tactics of the current elected politicians sway your vote.

Vote no for these outrageous tax/millage increases (unless you like bailing out inept government).

Kenny Dempich


Honest Abe

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

I live on a quiet side street in the city of Ypsilanti. My summer and winter taxes are over $6,000 per year!!! That is obviously a lot of money, and I paid my house of 5 years ago. It makes me angry that last week I look out my window and a pick up truck that belongs to the city is parked outside, the driver is listening to music, smoking cigarettes and then proceeds to take a little nap. His passenger, who worked for the city managed to talk on his cell phone for about half an hour, then decides to smoke a few cigarettes and relax a bit too!! I decided to go sit on my porch only to hear their voice traveling saying they 'had it made to have a city job" and it is nice to "do nothing for most of the day'. I also notice a lot of city owned vehicles actually are used by employee's during off hours for private use!! I have seen this many many times! Another thing is the city of Ypsilanti has 2 full time parking enforcement officers. They receive insurance, paid holiday/vacation, uniforms and the city has 2 brand new Ford focuses that cost money too. After viewing the revenue from parking fines and meter revenue, they are not even close to breaking even!! Geesh! I can go on and on. The city needs a complete government overhaul, from city council to the mayor. They are all clueless and do not have any idea on how to run things! The Ypsi DDA is a joke too, but I will save that for another day!


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 11:12 a.m.

Great point, Abe. I have also seen city vehicles sitting outside of what must be the employee's home during off hours and wondered about that too. Another cost cutting idea - I don't think our area needs 2 representatives on City Council. One should suffice.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Hope millage passes. City officials will have more money to mishandle.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

Little Detroit


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

Lot's of good discussion taking place. Perhaps we should table this vote for one year to pursue more options and see what the results are of the November elections and the slowly but growing economy. I also think the Mayor should immediately resign because he has been a very ineffective spokesperson for the City and has been at this much too long. He is stale, has had his hands in too much of the past, and is not one that anyone can rally around. We need new, smart, fresh leadership. The City needs to start selling some of its white elephants too including the Freight House, the Riverside Art Center (the rent of which is just $1.00 a year), the Rutherford Pool, perhaps City Hall itself , plus the City needs to make a much bigger effort to get paying tenants at Waterstreet. Start to do some of these tough things, see how elections progress, then come and talk to us all next year. Meanwhile, we have enough in the coffers to get along as we have been for at least a year.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

So now is trolling us? This isn't even one of the better comments. Was it promoted to headline status for any other reason than to generate clicks and flamewars? Very irresponsible.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

I like what you said black stallion "The only way the public employees will survive is if they move away from pensions and into 401K retirement plans. The tax payers are not going to continue funding retirement pensions on the tax payer dime. This is reality folks." That makes a lot of sense and I am sure that the public employees posting here do not like it but it is reality. Until this happens we the tax payers will not support them. Why should they continue to have these benefits when most of us tax payers have forfeited ours?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Like most of SCIT's campaign efforts this article (and most of the comments) fail to address any of the actual issues instead relying on emotional manipulation to distract from the reality of this situation. Ypsilanti has suffered sever loss of revenue over the last several years. The proposals on the ballot represent a plan to replace that lost revenue. The only alternatives supported by the anti Save Ypsi campaign are bankruptcy, liquidation, and an EFM. This is a plan to keep Ypsilanti citizens in control of Ypsilanti and to maintain our valuable publics services. When we talk about driving citizens and business out of Ypsilanti the SCIT campaign fails to mention the effect not passing these measures will have. Increased crime and blight, liquidation of public assets, and ultimately state implemented bureaucrats will drive out drive down property values, dissuade homebuyers, and discourage investment much more drastically than an income tax ever could. Vote yes twice on May 8th to vote for Ypsilanti's future.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

We have an opportunity here to come together and stand up for our city and its essential services. Our downtown won't recover without police protection - our home values won't continue to recover without police protection. Essential services are just that essential. We depend on them and we depend on them as the level they are currently. Our city is well run and efficient and transparent. THe plan and the budget as proposed is solid and detailed. Its worth it..

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

The only way the public employees will survive is if they move away from pensions and into 401K retirement plans. The tax payers are not going to continue funding retirement pensions on the tax payer dime. This is reality folks.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

I'm not sure whether the article or the post by "snoopdog" contains more ignorance and outright falsehoods. The author of the "opinion" letter suggests that city residents "go after" the "home/car/bank account" of the elected officials who are responsible for Water Street. Great idea. Even if it their actions in office weren't protected by a number of state laws, which means they can't be sued for Water Street, I don't think a couple of $100K homes and a few cars are going to make much difference in a multi-million-dollar debt obligation. Perhaps we should examine the voting records of everyone, starting with the author, and "go after" the homes/cars/bank accounts of the people who voted the elected representatives into office. Snoopdog, its quite unfortunate that you probably don't even care enough to learn that city police and fire employees have been paying 10% of their AFTER-TAX income into their pensions for years, and are or will shortly be paying 20% of the premiums for their medical insurance. It's obvious neither of you have any idea of the facts surrounding the serious issues faced by the city, and equally obvious those spouting tired and inaccurate talking points have no interest in making an informed decision based on reality and facts, so please do the rest of us a favor and stay home on voting day.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

First of all, I'm not a public employee and I don't have a pension. I'm also not so small and petty that I begrudge others the fruits of their labors. It seems you're not too happy with your choices in life. Why should others suffer for it? You want to abolish pubic pensions? I agree. Elect someone who will do it. You want to abolish public unions? I also agree. Elect someone who will do it. In the meantime, you can't un-ring the bell. These people accepted the offers made to them when they hired in, and they don't get Social Security. This money is due and payable, and it needs to be paid. If you use $500 worth of electricity, then decide you hate the electric company and only want to burn candle from now on, you still have to pay for what you've already used. Get it? Do whatever you want going doesn't erase the debts that exist today. And just out of curiosity, what business is it of yours or anyone else's what age someone is when they retire, if they've worked the requisite 20, 25 or 30 years?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

Hey YpsiVeteran, I pay 35% of my healthcare, up from 20% a few years ago. I also don't get a pension, I have a 401K that is fully funded by my pre tax income which I put in. The facts are this my friend. Tax payers are done with paying for your lavish pensions, healthcare till you die and your ability to retire in you low to mid fifties of age. This is a pyramid scam the like of Amway from back in the 1970's where the few at the top ( the public sector) made it big at the expense of those on the bottom. Very few of us in the public sector will ever get a pension and the same goes for healthcare upon retirement if we are ever able to afford to retire. We are done paying more and more to keep your lifestyle funded. Fund it your self and leave the taxpayers out of the equation. Good Day

Dog Guy

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Public employee unions favor share-ya law. They want to share-ya income, share-ya house, share-ya kids, and so on.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

Talk about scare tactics! Our economic woes are NOT due to mismanagement. No one WANTS to pay more taxes. And EMU will NOT move any of their offices to the township.

greg, too

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

What is the origin of all of the vitriol towards EMU? If you want them to "pay their share," write your congressman and have him change the tax laws to make them non-exempt so they would have to pay property taxes, don't tax the snot out of the Ypsi citizens who work there out of some misguided anger towards the school. EMU didn't buy that brown site tract of land, it didn't fail to sell it, it hasn't raises the city taxes and thusly driven people away from the city. It is a giant business in the city. Do you think if we had wooed Costco or Menards to Ypsi that they would have paid a dime in property taxes? Highly unlikely. Do you think the county is going to pay taxes on the most expensive plot of land on Water St? Not likely. Next, people will get angry and god (or whoever you believe in) for having the river run through the city without making it pay taxes.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

I am seeing the same problems here that Detroit has and I can see Ypsilanti becoming a city that no one wants to live in very soon. I say vote against any new tax.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

I somehow thought the Water St. project was going to take care of many of the city's problems. How in the world is more taxes going to make the city of Ypsilanti more atractive? Why don't they just elect Pete Murdoch as mayor, everything would be fine then.

Honest Abe

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

Pete Murdoch had his chance in the mayors seat. Let's NOT elect Pete Murdoch. He is a JOKE! Pete Murdoch is why we have a lot of the problems we already have!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

New taxes are a poor choice. As Braggslaw said, this is about getting more swine slop at the public trough to feed the pensions and ever increasing healthcare costs for public sector workers. The better choice, make public sector workers pay 10% of their income toward their pensions and then match the private sector in their funding of their own healthcare benefits. Making taxpayers fund lavish pension and benefit packages which none of them get themselves is immoral and should be illegal Good Day

Glen S.

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Ypsilanti politicians didn't create this deficit -- they've been making big cuts for over a decade -- eliminating the recreation department, cutting staff at City Hall, outsourcing functions like financial operations and IT, trimming overall payrolls, and making City staff pay more for their benefits. Yet despite these cuts -- the poor economy, the loss of much of our manufacturing base, a collapse in housing (taxable) values, and deep cuts in revenue-sharing from Lansing have left Ypsilanti with with a long-term structural deficit that MUST be addressed. Since so much has already been cut,, we will be forced (unless we find an additional source of tax revenue on our own) to make additional deep cuts to Police and Fire that will make Ypsilanti less safe, and less attractive to new residents and businesses. The only other alternative will be to turn the City over to an unelected, unaccountable "Emergency Manager" appointed by Governor Snyder -- who would have the power to raise taxes -- and slash services -- with no local input, or oversight. To address that situation, Ypsilanti leaders have developed a bold, 5-Year Plan that includes a City Income Tax of 1% on residents and .5%; and a dedicated millage to pay for the Water Street bonds (in order to free up General Fund dollars to pay for essential services, like Police and Fire.) This plan is not ideal, but at this point, it is our best (and ONLY) option if we want to keep Ypsilanti, a safe, clean and attractive place for current and future residents. For more information about the 5-Year Plan, visit:

greg, too

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

The five year plan is still just a bunch of numbers without any justification. Where does it state how a new strategy to sell the land is different than the last decade? Did I miss the section where it describes cutting costs in the city via green initiatives or other plans? I guess I stopped before it talked about reforming the city government or hiring a new city manager. And that section must have been before any of the other plans to turn the ship around and get Ypsi in the black without any new taxes after these ones because I didn't see that either. Oh, and there wasn't anything else in there about the failing schools that need $$ either. Oh, or how they plan to deal with the decaying buildings the city owns throughout the city. Wow, I should read that two page spreadsheet filled with numbers more closely because I seem to have missed there being a plan. The pro tax people keep saying they have a plan, but it looks like someone sat down with a calculator for an hour or two and just threw some numbers together. I hope the city didn't pay some consultants citizens money to create that plan. Oh yeah, and the last plan was off by $7 mil, why should we trust the $$$'s now?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:55 a.m.

Let's face it, the major shortfall of funds is due to the bonds coming due on the Water Street Debacle!!! How many MILLIONS of dollars have been WASTED on the short-sighted "vision" of a few elected officials??? Businesses that have expressed a desire to build on the Water Street area property have been consistently turned down by these same elected officials, because they feel that these businesses do not "fit" their "vision", their "Master Plan" for the property. It boggles my mind. They turn down businesses that are willing to add to the tax base of the city, and then they want to bring in a regional Washtenaw County Recreation Center that will add NOTHING to the city's tax base, but will certainly add cost to the city to provide security, police, and fire protection to the recreation center. And how are they going to pay for it? Tax all citizens, property owners, and employees who have the misfortune of working within city limits. I hate to say it, but it looks like these elected officials have pretty much sunk the City of Ypsilanti.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:56 p.m. or don'

Ron Granger

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

A city income tax. How's that working for Detroit? Can we please build a wall between Ypsi and Ann Arbor?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

This proposed millage is not about providing services, rather it is about maintaining pensions, healthcare etc. for entrenched public employees and unions. If they cut the pay and benefits of the public employees, none will quit and leave (or very few) for other jobs, because they won't get a better deal anywhere else. Voters can make the choice.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:41 a.m. needs to submit a FOIA on the number of officers/command staff who have put in for retirement/seperation from YPD already. Please post it so braggs can see that he is 180 degrees incorrect about :"If they cut the pay and benefits of the public employees, none will quit and leave (or very few) for other jobs, because they won't get a better deal anywhere else."