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Posted on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti City Council considers going to voters for income tax and Water Street millage

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti City Council took a first step toward putting a new income tax proposal in front of voters. The move comes as it tries to close a projected $10.69 million budget shortfall.

Council unanimously agreed to direct staff to update a report used from a previous income tax campaign that failed in 2007. Council members also said they were in favor of considering putting a Water Street debt retirement millage in front of voters and discussing cost control measures.


Tom Perkins | For

No solid timeframes were provided on when the proposals would be in front of voters.

Without any cuts or new revenues, the city faces a projected $10.69 million budget shortfall by the end of fiscal year 2017. On Tuesday, Council concluded the last of three budgetary meetings intended to outline how to address the looming issues, though more meetings may be set up to discuss the options.

The combined revenue generated from new taxes would not entirely solve Ypsilanti’s structural budget deficit. The city has $9 million in reserves, which are projected to be depleted by fiscal year 2015. If only one tax was approved, the city would remain solvent for another one to two years.

If both are approved, the city is projected still to have $4.09 million by the end of fiscal year 2017, though it would eventually face a deficit beyond then. Projections only went out five years.

“To state the obvious, (the city) still ends up in a deficit anyway, so none of these are the final solution,” Council member Dan Vogt said.

Without any changes, officials say, a take over by a state financial emergency manager is likely.

Among the main financial challenges facing the city is a decrease in property tax revenue. It dropped by $500,000 in 2010, and is projected to decrease by $3.5 million between 2010 and 2017. Additionally, the state legislature’s proposal to eliminate personal property taxes is expected to cost the city $400,000.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s cuts to state shared revenue already mean a loss of $400,000, and the city is projecting those revenues to drop by 25 percent annually.

The city is also paying $30 million in Water Street bond debt and recently made its first $472,000 payment. It must continue to make payments through 2031,and the amounts will grow to $1.3 million annually by 2013.

The projections also include an assumed 15 percent annual health care cost increase and a sharp rise in the police and fire pension millage.

To address the deficit solely through cutting employees, the city would need to eliminate 41 general fund workers. That would leave Ypsilanti with 32 employees, including city hall, police and fire.

Council members say that would leave Ypsilanti in shambles and is why they are exploring revenue options. State law allows up to a 1 percent income tax on residents and corporations and half of that for non-residents. Koryzno said the tax could generate $2 million, but, after questions from Council, said the study would need to be completed to determine a more concrete estimate.

Mayor Paul Schreiber, along with Council Members Brian Robb and Lois Richardson, were serving during the 2007 income tax campaign. The proposal was defeated by a margin of 2 to 1, but he said he believed the idea had a better chance of gaining voter approval in the coming year because the city has no room for more expenditure cuts and he feels voters understand the situation.

He also said residents are more aware of local governments' strife due to cuts passed down from the federal and state level.

“There’s nowhere to go when you get to the local level, and I think people understand that,” he said.

No direction was given to staff on the proposed Water Street debt service retirement millage, though all council members agreed it was worth exploring. It would raise $1.3 million in fiscal year 2013 and $6.7 million through 2017. That would leave the city with $24 million in debt to pay through 2031 if no new development occurred on the property. Council then would have several options on what do with the millage, which could extend for the life of the bond.

The millage would likely be set at 5.1 mills in 2012 and is projected to rise to 5.9 mills by 2017. A house with a taxable value of $49,340 would pay an additional $248 annually in fiscal year 2013, though Koryzno noted that is the worst-case scenario. Robb was most vocal in looking at cuts or controlling fixed costs built into the projections. He said such measures were necessary if council was going to ask voters to pay more taxes.

“I need to be able to go back to the people and say ‘These are the things we are going to do to control costs,’” he said. “We’ve got to be able to say we are reducing fixed-costs somehow. That’s how the schools did it.”

Among the costs he mentioned was the assumed annual 15 percent increase in health care. He said that even cutting that increase by 5 percent would save the city $1 million over five years.

Murdock supported looking into the new revenue sources, but also said legacy and health insurance costs were a significant part of the city’s problems and must be addressed.

“That has to be part of the mix,” he said. “That’s part of the reason for our sustainability issues and our structural problems. To avoid (legacy and health costs) doesn’t end them.”

Council Member Ricky Jefferson said he supported exploring the income tax without lowering the property tax rate, as council has the option to do. He also said he was hesitant to cut staff any further.

“There’s really not much to do, but if we don’t do anything there are going to be terrible repercussions,” he said. “It’s a lot to ask our residents to make up for … but I’m willing to look at the income tax as being one way of dealing with this.”

Vogt also voiced concerns over more cuts and said he supported a “broad range of taxes” at lower levels to avoid a heavy burden on one source.

“Looking at the city’s history of cuts and cuts we have planned recently, I don’t see having an operating city if we cut more,” he said.

Council Member Mike Bodary echoed Vogt.

“I believe we are at a basic maintenance level in the city, and if we cut further, then we run the risk of Ypsilanti no longer being a safe city,” he said.

Koryzno also discussed the possibility of implementing a stormwater utility fee.

The city can determine how much of a property is not permeable and apply a fee to it that would be used for the city’s street fund for making road repairs. Koryzno said there are several formulas that could be used to determine the fee, and it applies to properties that are and are not on the city’s tax roll. Koryzno said he thought the fee could be enacted with council vote and wouldn’t need to be placed on the ballot.

Robb estimated the fee would generate around $150,000, but Koryzno declined to speculate.



Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 4:13 a.m.

Here's something to think about - another reason for the possible merging of City and Township: One of the things that makes Ypsilanti such a beautiful city actually works against it when it comes to enticing new business and possible customers to visit - the Huron River. While beautiful, it acts as a barrier. How many roads actually cross the river? Starting near St. Joe hospital: Dixboro, Superior, LeForge, Forest, Cross, Factory, I-94, Bridge, and Rawsonville - did I miss any? I-94 itself is a barrier, as there are only three roads funneling traffic north/south: Huron/Whittaker, Bridge, and Rawsonville. Michigan Ave helps on the west side of town. I-94 allows people to zoom right past the City instead of taking US-12 right through town. "Downtown" is one mile off the freeway at the Huron Street exit. It makes sense that development will happen close to the freeway, where it's easy to see and easily accessible. This land is located in the Township. While residents know both the historic and natural beauty of the City of Ypsilanti, and know that it is certainly deserving of consideration by new businesses, the reality is that it's too easy to skirt around the City. The city would certainly gain from a consolidation with the Township, though I don't know why the Township would feel the need to take on a financially struggling, land-locked city... (FYI - I have lived in both the City and the Township. I currently live a bit farther south, and still work in the Township.)


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

In all seriousness, I propose a monthly 50/50 raffle, $1.00 / ticket. Allow people nationwide to purchase tickets online. I'm not sure if it's legal but maybe we could do it through a church or something... No one wants to pay more taxes but I for one would like a chance to win BIG every month!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

Areas in Ontario (Chatham area to name one) went through amalgamation a handful of years ago. They still seem to be existing.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:43 a.m.

This is no time for rude, cynical comments from the citizenry. Our city officials, be that elected or not, have anguished over these issues for years...... and finally, there is no other place to go. I support their proposals and urge others to buckle up as best as one is able to do in these hard times. I also want to thank these officials for their efforts and hard work on behalf of us. Thank you!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

to make more money ..okay City hall ....Answer me question ...and get the solarpanel on our building and get payed... call me or come to our house for coffe Mon-fri- 9-11AM .....bring fresh baked Donut from TERRY bakery I forgot they are only open on a couple of days ..


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Well We Senior living in Ypsilant have not had an increase in our check...dito no more money for the business downtown or any thing else..our bills are going up ..COMCAST that has the City franchise how much money does the city collected from Comcast ? And how offten? also what other free enterprise is the city IN? Our city rep. hasnot come around and explained this matters to us. Since we live in the city and support the Buisness downtown We want to be informed ...before ..the council spend Money on printing the tax/vote info ..We need to save that money..

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

That would be the death knell for any attempt to revitalize Ypsilanti with new business. And it would drive down property values. But good news for the townships.

Designated Conservative

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Lois Richardson, Brian Robb, Michael Bodary, and Pete Murdock were elected/re-elected for their opposition to the 2007 City Income Tax proposal, and to ensure that a local income tax proposal would not come back again. As far as I am concerned these four councilmembers, in voting "unanimously" to move ahead with the notion of another income tax vote, have lost my respect, my support, and my vote in 2012. Of course I expect this type of shallow thinking from Mayor Schreiber, who never met a tax he didn't like. The rest of you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I'm absolutely aggravated that former Mayor Cheryl Farmer and former City Councilmember John Gawlas' fiscal idiocy over the Water Street debacle has brought our city so low that there appears to be no long-term way out other than an emergency manager and possible dissolution/merger with an adjacent township. However, nothing we are currently facing justifies this two-faced action by these four councilmembers to support a second city income tax vote.

Andrew Jason Clock

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

When do we start talking about other ways to increase tax revenue, like making our city more attractive to people looking to live or work in the area? When do we kick off every DDA board member that isn't interested in bringing people and businesses to downtown? The DDA's job is to promote our downtown! Lets put them to work! Seems to work great for Ann Arbor's DDA, they manage to handle streets, parking, and do huge amounts of promotion, bringing in visitors and businesses. Heritage Festival needs a revamp? Sounds like something our DDA should step into, along with the CVB. I don't want DDA board members who only spend time bickering with each other. Lets work with the county to build trails along the Huron, connecting our downtown with a linear park to the B2B and Ford Lake, and lets go ahead and give them a chunk of Water Street to build a recreation center, if we're going to have to bail it out with taxes anyway.. Washtenaw Parks & Recreation is chomping at the bit to spend money on improving our city, and parks and recreation are proven to draw people to communities. Probably should have expanded the whole idea of contracting park maintenance to a nonprofit, instead ending it because some members of council and their friends didn't like the folks on the nonprofit's board. Clearly council couldn't afford to take that action, they lied. So much effort put in by members of council to destroy the work of people who wanted to help the community, just because council members and their friends didn't like the folks doing it. What a waste, we need all the help we can get. If you want to talk increasing revenue, then lets talk. But taxes aren't the only option on the table. We need bold action now, not a recycling of the ideas we've already tried. The council members are right, its a new reality for municipalities in Michigan. Why are we trying to deal with it through the same old methods that got us here? Try working positive.

Top Cat

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

Perhaps the City could just install gates and guard houses on all the roads into the City and charge admission. Just like New York City does on the bridge crossings.

Martin Church

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

I am voting no on both proposals. why. Where do I get the funds to pay this additional burden. I am already paying 60% of my income to state federal and local taxes. My wife has lost her job and now the city wants more of my income. I worked for what I have and it's time the city starts to work also. If we have to have an emergency manager fine. it's time for change some things to start with cut the city senior staff 40% in wages and benefits. This is in line with what the rest of us have had to endure. Too sue the individuals who promoted the creation of water street project for the cost. They ignored the advice of citizens who said this was a bad idea from the begining. their decissions cost us several business (ford/ACH plant, Motor wheels to name a few). You want more revenue it's time to start marketing the amount of vacant property we have and start developing Water street. You turned down Burger King, Lost the possiblity of having Costco, and a number of other options to Pittsfield. it 's time to get a pro business administration in place and stop being an Ann Arbor want to be. Embrace the Blue collar community we are and stop trying to be rich snobs because we have a University.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

"Among the costs he mentioned was the assumed annual 15 percent increase in health care." But of course, the government says there is little or no inflation....ask SS recipients whether the 2012 COLA of probably 1-2% will cover their increased expenses. "Council Member Ricky Jefferson said he supported exploring the income tax without lowering the property tax rate," If property values are falling, property taxes have to be lowered. "I believe we are at a basic maintenance level in the city, and if we cut further, then we run the risk of Ypsilanti no longer being a safe city," he said. I've got news for the city of Ypsi, it already is an unsafe city in many ways. There is a large population of individuals in Ypsi who are unemployed, and some are career criminals, certainly not contributing to the economy of Ypsi in any way, other than filling up the jails. There are some good people living there too, but they are a dwindling number. There are few industries, and one commuter college, with most employees living elsewhere. Drive down Michigan Ave through Ypsi if anyone disagrees with this assessment. Unless there is an infusion of industry and a way to deal with all of the criminals, it's not looking good for Ypsi. Raising taxes will only chase out the few remaining good folks who are already taxed to the hilt and living on modest incomes.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

I drive/walk through downtown and it is by no means unsafe. It is safer than downtown A2 at night.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Proposal A will keep our tax base low even if the city raises its tax income. I live in the township and enjoy the many benefits I get here. I do not want to merge with the city if it means a higher property tax base. A city tax might be the way to go, but with the way things are going right now, I don't think anyone can afford what the city is thinking currently.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Income tax won't fly. Property is worth even less than the city says. Water Street was a disaster, and yes, many who supported it sit on or highly influence the council. Even if new revenue were possible, the city will go bankrupt. Might as well face it now, pray for an emergency manager, rip up contracts. Any council person that does not loudly and clearly tackle public employee pensions is not serious. In the meantime, we could adopt a part-time fire department, and ask the fewer police that will be left to focus on real crimes, rather than small-time pot smokers and prostitution stings.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

Yes you are correct.Prostitutes walking up and down Michigan really improve Ypsi's desirability and property values

Andy Piper

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

The City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township should merge. What would help Ypsi City the most is LOWER TAXES so new businesses would see opportunity to locate there.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

"The city is also paying $30 million in Water Street bond debt and recently made its first $472,000 payment. It must continue to make payments through 2031,and the amounts will grow to $1.3 million annually by 2013." Translation: "We screwed up big time. Luckily, we are the government and can just ask get more money from you."

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

I will vote for any property tax increases put on the ballot but I am very much against an income tax.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

Spoken like a true renter! :)


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

Murdock supported looking into the new revenue sources, but also said legacy and health insurance costs were a significant part of the city's problems and must be addressed Yet another example why public unions need to be abolished. Retirement after 30 years work with medical? Who reitres at 48 years old. This is a great example on how public unions destroy cities. By the way, I am 100% for private unions.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

Jhonny, do you think only union members get those benefits. If so, you are mistaken. Of course no on wants to talk about the non-union who will not only receive more pay but better benefits. shhhh.....don't tell anyone.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Exploring Income tax ? who elected this council, we must face the facts a emergency manager might be the answer instead of a top heavy council which appears to not know how to solve anything unless it is on the backs of others.I did like the comment about merging with the township we may see the day that it happens.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Get use to it - the Great Financial Redo in Lansing will drive all local governments , most now in distress, to the only tools they have in raising revenue - addition taxes and fees. This should have been seen at the out set. Can you hear us now?? "What's in your wallet?"

Tony Dearing

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

A comment was removed because it violated our conversation guidelines. Please do not post comments in all caps. Thanks.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

i think its logical to ask why is the current council and mayor still holding positions? it seems that these are the same folks who got us here and the only way out they know is more taxes? I get that from Washington DC - I dont need it from Ypsi... thank god I live in the township


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Midtowner, not all gone, there are still their supporters and peeps from that camp, they pushed for the city income tax.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

"thank god I live in the township" Indeed!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

the only person who was on city council when water street was created is lois richardson. everyone else is long gone!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Is it time for the landlocked City of Ypsilanti and it's very close neighbor, Ypsilanti Township, to get over the 'border wars' and become one big happy Ypsilanti family? The 'City' residents certainly would benefit by having a larger tax base and the Township would gain an actual Town Center. It's time we all grow up, play nice and get along - become a much Greater Ypsilanti!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

I don't need a town center if I'm going to inherit the cities mess and watch my taxes go up. The township is doing great things right now and I'd hate to see it compromised by shared leadership with the city leadership. Keep that town center, we're doing fine thanks.

City Confidential

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

I moved to Ypsi in 2008. I had never even heard the name Water Street. The recent talk led me to research the history on this project, going back to 2001. I had no idea things were this messed up. The link below provides a link to a very informative letter written in 2005, BEFORE the real estate crash, when people were still snapping up land and building like crazy. Even then, this was a hard sell. I am actually nauseous now that I know the full story. What a disaster - millions over budget due at least in part to environmental clean up from former businesses that just left their toxic mess for us to deal with. It's sad that the corporations that got rich off of that land didn't have to take responsibility for the mess. The only silver lining is that since my house has dropped in value by about half since I bought it, the proposed 5.9 mil increase in my tax bill won't even bring what I have to pay back up to what I paid the first year I owned. Since I won't be able to sell my house (without taking a huge loss )until around the time that the debt on the Water street project is paid off, I might as well see something useful on the site - like a county rec center and dog park. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

The venom from Ms. Thom's long-held grudge against Mr. Pierce seems to be spilling onto the author of the letter to which City Confidential is referring: Bob Doyle. That is her mistake. Now is a good time to dust that letter off, take the time to really read it, and then ruefully shake our collective heads at Mr. Doyle's wisdom.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Lorie you cannot whitewash Water Street, there aint enough paint in MI. Who would ever want an affordable condo on top of a toxic waste mess in downtown Ypsi, when there so many homes available for so much less. It was never a viable option.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

and, depending on the author, Ypsinews is not a credible news source because the &quot;reporter&quot; and the 'editor&quot; are the same person as the 'webmaster' and politico wanna be, Steve Pierce.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

This was before the EPA came on board and said you cannot do that to the water and the land. The toxic mess was known but nothing was done about it because they let it go and let it run down. Now it is being cleaned up but the process is a long and lengthy one. What we have done to the earth is a nightmare. At least now we can build a rec center and an outdoor rec area. But what concerns me is this. Is the ground clean enough for my children to play on? Lay a blanket on and have a nice lunch? I really don't think so. Japan and Russia really downplayed their nuclear disasters and right now I think Ypsilanti is right up there with them.

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : noon

Things are tight for a lot of us these days. We've cut back on our expenses, why can't the City Council/City leaders do the same? Asking for more in taxes when a lot of families are struggling to pay the bills is just tone deaf.

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

Well, I don't know. That's why I'm not on City Council. But I think it's unfair to ask people struggling to buy groceries to pony up more cash.

City Confidential

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

What do you propose that they cut? No more trash pick up? No more fire department? No more park maintenance? The city staff already has to take furlough days and the city council and mayor are paid practically nothing.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:54 a.m.

Taxes are so high in Ypsi compared to the neighboring communities we are already at the point of &quot;why live in Ypsi&quot; when given the choice of living a few miles down the road. YCUA's surcharges makes it even worse. Now they want to add an income tax. Just take a look at other communities in Michigan with an income tax - Detroit and Flint come to mind. New people moving to this area will not pick Ypsi given these circumstances and an income tax will just make things worse. What the City really needs to do is lower taxes, but we won't see that happen.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

John Q you are wrong my taxes have risen and my income has dropped. STOP CITY INCOME TAX! Anything but this...a millage makes more sense.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

YUCA is making us pay those sur charges because the water we get is from Detroit. When Detroit raises its prices? We get skunked. Pittsfield township right now is reeling from all of the hits Detroit is making them pay. People are picking Ypsi because the taxes are much lower then Ann Arbor. With the new charters coming in, this makes Ypsi even more viable. I hate to say it but Ypsi is better then Ann Arbor any day of the week.

John Q

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

I would bet that most Ypsi taxpayers have seen their taxes decline as property values have dropped. How's that worked out for the city?


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

We have a good city here with excellent police and fire support. We are a college town that is growing in stature. We have many things going for us here including good businesses and a collection of great people. Yes we have a long way to go to where we want to get but we have to at least protect the services that we have so we can live well and work safely and so others will come to invest and live in Ypsi. This City Council didn't create these problems but at least they are trying to figure a way out as responsibly as they can. If we as citizens have to pitch in and pass a millage and/or reluctantly agree to a city income tax to protect what we have, then we need to do it. It is our City. Does anyone have any other realistic solutions? Perhaps we could sell naming rights to the Water Tower!


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

I could name the tower but I think I'd get booted by the powers that be. Depends on how much of a tax revenue is going to be increased by the city dwellers and not the township. The library right now is getting a really decent twice look over with grants and donations coming in forth with. With a rec center this would really boost Ypsi and give Ann Arbor a run for its money since Ann Arbor is having a worse financial crises then Ypsi is right now. I would want to see all the number crunching before making a decision on this one.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

Show me all expenses and all details of both expenses and the budget. I'll bet you we would find discretionary expenses and more areas that can be cut.

City Confidential

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

They really have reduced spending to core needs. Do you have any suggestions for other areas that they should cut? No more trash removal or snow plowing? City employees already take unpaid furlough days, and police and fire are at the lowest possible levels.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Have the city leaders reduced spending and budgeted for only core needs? Until all waste is eliminated and these details can be shown to the voters, I will continue my no position on a city income tax. Show me the details, by line, by expense type, please.

Mark Hergott

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

An income tax will simply not fly. It just won't get any support from anyone making below the median income. An income tax proposal will get people to the polls, however. A millage on the other hand, that might be more acceptable. Once the debt is gone, the millage goes away. An income tax is forever.

Glen S.

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:28 a.m.

Contrary to public opinion, the City of Ypsilanti has been, and continues to be, well-managed financially -- and as a community, we've done many things &quot;right.&quot; Nevertheless, a variety of factors mostly beyond our control: &quot;Free trade&quot; policies that for decades have encouraged industry to move overseas; Michigan's completely broken tax system, and archaic method of funding local government services; State laws that encourage new development in distant cornfields rather than older, dense communities with existing infrastructure; and the worst economy since the Great Depression -- including a devastating drop in property (taxable) values -- have all come together to form a &quot;perfect budget storm.&quot; Added to that, Michigan's new Republican legislature and Governor seem to be much more interested in &quot;punishing&quot; local communities financially -- especially Michigan's older, urban and post-industrial communities -- than in helping them to get back on their feet. For everyone out there living in other communities who may be feeling secure in thinking this can't happen to your community -- think again: While Ypsilanti's particular circumstances may have put us at the &quot;forefront&quot; of this statewide municipal budget crisis, there are many other Michigan communities who will face similar circumstances in the next 3-5 years, as they are forced to choose between steep and unpopular tax hikes -- or deep cuts to core services, including police and fire protection. At this point, it seems clear that nobody in Lansing (or Washington D.C., for that matter) is going to do anything to try to save struggling communities like Ypsilanti. That's why I'm glad to see there seems to be a unanimous sense on the part of the Ypsilanti City Council that we have to explore ALL options to keep our City solvent, and to continue to provide the kinds of basic services that protect our health, safety and quality of life.

no flamers!

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Republicans are not &quot;punishing&quot; Ypsilanti--there is less tax revenue at the state level too and so there is less to redistribute to local governments. It is really simple. Those that pretend that Ypsilanti has been targeted for &quot;punishment&quot; and play the victim card just delay and hamper efforts by Ypsi to fix Ypsi--no one is going to do this for us. We bought the Water Street property, not &quot;Lansing,&quot; and expecting Lansing to fix our problem is just asking out taxpayers to bail out Ypsi. Not going to happen.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 11:09 a.m.

Yes, I have money laying around that I do not want or need that I can give you. Not a logical statement, is it? The concept that voters are willing to pay an income tax is not logical either.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 10:48 a.m.

Why oldblueypsi, that would mean that they would be voting to remove their second income since some city council and the township representative spots would have to be eliminated, I would think. They would much rather try yet again to pass a city income tax than to do that. In the meantime, I'm preparing to accurately fill in the circle that coincides with the 'No' option.

Five Red Hens

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Use rhetoric as you will but it is certainly not Council's few thousand dollar per year pittance for the amount of meetings, preparation, study, and work that goes into attempting to save the City they call home that is the impetus for not seeking an annexation to the township.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 10:38 a.m.

&quot;Council members say that would leave Ypsilanti in shambles and is why they are exploring revenue options.&quot; Whoever made that statement must have been living elsewhere (under a rock?) for last twenty years. Even the late Ray Charles could see this forest for the trees. Ypsilanti is in a financial shambles. So let's add to it with an income tax and more millage. If this was a football game, there'd be a flag for piling on. This statement has to rank with Marie Antoinette's &quot;Let them eat cake&quot; remark. With no commercial tax base, and half of the real estate absent from the tax rolls, its time for a peremptory strike. Avoid the ignominy and inconvenience of a &quot;financial manager&quot;. Immediately approach and work with the state under the FM law to dissolve the city charter and do what should have been done sixty years ago - unite the city and township into a viable municipal entity.