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Posted on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti plans May vote on income tax and Water Street debt retirement millage

By Tom Perkins

The City of Ypsilanti is close to approving a plan for eliminating its projected deficit and maintaining the city’s solvency. It will include asking voters to approve an income tax and Water Street debt retirement millage along with significant budget reductions.

In a 4-3 vote Tuesday night, council decided both issues would be on the ballot in May.


Ypsilanti's Depot Town.

Angele Cesare |

Council Members Ricky Jefferson and Dan Vogt and Mayor Paul Schreiber voted against the resolution to put the issues on the May ballot. They made a case for trying during the November elections instead.

“I am very strongly in favor of November,” Schreiber said. “It comes down to getting information out and getting a clear choice from council on what the budget looks like with the revenue and what it looks like without the revenue.”

Council must adopt a budget in June and Council Member Brian Robb argued that the budgeting process would be much more difficult if the city doesn't how much revenue it has coming in.

Council is working on a five-year financial plan that will eliminate a $10.69 million budget shortfall projected for 2017. The two new revenue streams are part of that plan, and council is also planning to make significant spending reductions as part of a package it will offer residents.

Council is now tasked with convincing voters that plan is necessary to avert a state takeover and that not voting for the proposals would leave the city unable to provide basic services.

Vogt said he found in his interactions with residents that there is a perception that council would be wasting money by holding a special election in May and trying to rush through the proposals.

“In light of what the public will perceive, I think the November date makes sense,” Vogt said.

Schreiber said the vote and campaigning for it is the most important thing council will do this year. He said having the vote in November gives the city more time to campaign. He also pointed out that the results from an income tax study won’t even be in by May.

“I just don’t think we’re going to be prepared,” Schreiber said, adding he hopes council will reconsider the vote.

He said more people will be at the polls in November because it is a presidential election year and that will provide a better representation of city residents' wishes.

But the main issue is having enough time for staff and council to coordinate information.

“I think people are going to be looking at what an income tax and Water Street debt retirement millage are going to cost them, and they are going to weigh that against the cost of reducing city services, and that cost of reducing city services is something that is very hard to quantify,” he said. “I don’t think we have enough of the information that voters need. I don’t think we can do it in that that short of a time.”

Council Member Pete Murdock said he thought council was underestimating its ability to run a successful campaign. He also said city residents will be busy with other campaigns in November and that makes it difficult to get across how people should vote on each issue.

“How do we tell people to vote yes on this and no on that?” he asked. “I think we can put the campaign together by May.”

Murdock, along with Council Member Mike Bodary and Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson, is up for re-election in November as well, though that race will likely be decided in the August primary election.

Bodary also said he feared the issue would get lost on the ballot in the November election.

“Once you start adding proposal after proposal you get voters who are sitting there going ‘No, no, no,’ and it becomes too much of a habit to check of the ‘no’ box,’” he said.

Richardson suggested the possibility of having the vote during the August primary election, but the idea didn’t find any support.

At its February 7 meeting, council will hold public hearings on the Water Street debt retirement millage, income tax proposal and five year financial plan. It will also have the first reading of the personal income tax ordinance.

At its February 14 meeting, council will adopt the five year financial plan along with wording for the ballot issues. The election will be held on May 8.


Lou Blouin

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

it seems the core of the problem in ypsilanti and many cities across the country is the erosion of the tax base, i.e. the population has declined and those residents that are there aren't paying as much as they were as their property values have decreased. so fundamentally, the question is how do you rebuild the tax base? one short-term answer, and it seems the answer that's being touted here, is to tax the people that are still there even more. but i think it's a fair to raise the question as to whether instituting more taxes (in a town that already has taxes at the state limit) will--in the long term--discourage people from moving there and encourage those remaining to move on to other areas that don't have such burdens, thus only exacerbating the problem. i live in downtown detroit now, and we're currently considering a move to ypsilanti, but i can say this whole issue will affect our final decision to relocate there. also, it seems as though raising taxes is really the only solution being considered. is there perhaps a chance for more creativity here? in the city's effort to make the case to voters, i think they'll have to not only provide an argument that raising taxes will be good for the city, but that they've considered many other alternatives and that those alternatives are not viable. i believe that people are generally willing to sacrifice for the good of their community, but they have to have confidence that such sacrifice will, in the long run, lead to a better outcome.

Glen S.

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

To LC and others who are accusing some City Council members of "flip-flopping:" The main job of our locally-elected officials is to protect the financial integrity of the city so that we can continue providing services that are vital to health and safety, and in order to make sure that local decisions continue to be made by local officials and citizens -- not by some unelected, accountable bureaucrat appointed by Governor Snyder. If Councilman Bodary and others have determined that the only way to do that is to offer voters a choice regarding whether to increase taxes, then I think they are to be commended -- not vilified.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Are you saying it wasn't City Council's fault for getting us into Water Street? Are you saying it wasn't City Council's fault for giving the union contracts all these years? Mr. Bodary it is you who are naive and uninformed. As a councilman, if you don't think you can control those things, you shouldn't be on council.

Michael Bodary

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

OK LC, which council are you talking about then? The one in 1997 that began the Water St idea? The one in 2002 that started it? The ones that bought the land up with bond sales before 2006? Or is it the one I joined in November of 2008? There are no people who are still there from the beginning and many now are on council because we opposed previous decisions. Union contracts have been much like they are for 50 years and we have take them to arbitration several times to get the best deals for the city and to be fair to the employees. Balming these issues on the present council is like blaming President Obama for the invasion of Iraq.

Michael Bodary

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

That's your choice LC but if you really believe we could have prevented the property value loss or found a buyer for Water St you're very naive or have kept yourself uninformed. I feel required to give the voters the choice in a fair open election regardless of how I feel now or felt then about increasing taxes. This is too big a question to ignore.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

The time has come to vote Mr. Bodary out of office. The only thing he's done for his constituents is make excuses and flip flop on big issues like the income tax. Pack your bags Mike!!!

Michael Bodary

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

That's your choice LC but if you really believe we could have prevented the property value loss or found a buyer for Water St you're very naive or have kept yourself uninformed. I am required to give the voters the choice in a fair open election regardless of how I feel now or felt then about increasing taxes. This is too big a question to ignore.

Michael Bodary

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Residents, for those of us who opposed the income tax proposed in 2006-7 this is a bitter pill. The hoped for development of Water St. has not happened yet despite our best efforts. Pension costs are going up as more people retire and fewer are paying in-the drawback to downsizing. The loss of property value brought on by the fat cats on Wall St and greedy bankers meant the city revenues dropped more than 10% every year since 2008. The State is run by TeaPublicans and radicals who care little about the 200+ cities that will face financial crisis in the next 5 years. The only choice is to give voters a chance to keep police and fire at safe levels, or vote it down and face fierce slashing of employees in 2013. Not passing the income tax to relieve pension costs OR the Water St debt millage will require more cuts. Anyone who doesn't believe it has not done the math.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

One last thing...I notice you also fail to mention that without the Water Street debt debacle, city pension obligations would not be an issue. The city's willingness to ignore its own failures and then attempt to distract attention from it by throwing dedicated employees under the bus is almost as bad as the collective negligence of a council who ok'd purchasing and seizing land without a safety net.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Mr. Bodary, I'd also like to inquire exactly what council's "best efforts" have been to actively pursue sale/development of Water Street property? What regional and/or national advertising efforts are underway? What financial contingency provisions to protect the city were in the agreement the city had with the original developers of Water Street, before the city began to exercise eminent domain to acquire the last of the property from business that didn't want to sell?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Mr. Bodary, for you to resort to polarizing language and name-calling like "fat cats" and "greedy bankers" indicates a disturbing lack of maturity. Is that the mindset you bring to council? If you are so concerned about public safety, why is the city not offering a public safety-dedicated millage to taxpayers, like the resoundingly successful one in Livonia this summer? Taxpayers who are not willing to write a blank check to a council full of people who are obviously in over their heads might be more willing if the use of the money was limited by law to public safety. As an independent-leaning democrat, I find your "TeaPublican" divisiveness counterproductive and generally appalling.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Better hold that vote until the republicans in Lansing decide on the phase out of tax on business and utility equipment. This tax revenue supports local governments. This is another gift to business without any strings attached. The loss of revenue will probably be made up on the backs of the middle class homeowners.

dave french

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

It's a shame that alot of those picking up the tab for this water street mess will be the working students in town.

joe golder

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Many of the students will not be hear in May! I no many students who voted against the income tax the last time. As we get closer to Nov., issue's like this will have to stand with all the other money sucking issue's on that ballet. Councilmen Bodary, Murdock,councilwoman Richardson I hope you guys have a back up plan because this doesn't have a chance tomorrow, may or Nov. This will be a political campaign all right and council has already began shoving this down are throats.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

all the conservatives on here have no clue.the only answer to all our problems are irrational.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

I think the only answer to Ypsi's problems are purely rational (and blindingly obvious) BUT no one would like the outcome, even if it saved the city, LOL

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

Huh? What are you saying?

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

Why don't we just give our pay checks to the city and let them provide for our needs? Then when everything is fixed they can give back whatever they think is fair. I am sure that will work.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

all the nay sayers out ther wanting ypsi to be sold to the highist bidder.hate to tell you it wint happen without a fight from the people of try it at your own risk.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

im from ypsilanti,and i say to all the nagitve comments about my hometown.your all wrong.and all you tea party fans this town only elects moderate to liberal republicans.ther is no chance for a tea party member to be elected in this progressive town


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

@ joe: Why would people choose to live in Ypsi? Well, here's why I choose to live in Ypsi: I have wonderful neighbors and an active neighborhood association. Our community takes pride in our houses and in our mutual support. One of my neighbors, who's an electrician, saw a Facebook post about our power outage at 8pm on a Friday night and came over within a half-hour to fix the problem. The whole neighborhood turns out for the Fourth of July parade. It's invigorating to live in a community that isn't completely about the University of Michigan. The people are friendly and down to earth, and aren't about one-upping each other. I've lived in large cities. I could afford to live in Ann Arbor. My neighborhood in Ypsi is the best I've ever lived in, and that you have to ask why people would choose to live in Ypsi tells me that you haven't spent much time there. Making assumptions about a place based on classism isn't very helpful.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Nope, it's not an AA v. Ypsi issue. It is, as I said in my first post, a class issue. Saline is lovely. Milan is lovely.But I have a 1918 house with original woodwork in a neighborhood full of equally beautiful houses, with neighbors who understand that community is important. If you choose to reduce that to the examples I gave, that's your choice.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

@ Terri, @Meg, You guys seem to keep making this an AA vs Ypsi issue. Of course, that is the well documented little sister syndrome that the city will always have, but it has nothing to do with my posts. The other surrounding communities, such as the township, Augusta and the smaller communities to the south, all are CHEAPER than Ypsi proper. Tax wise and as far as bang for your buck for a house. And news flash, every community has plenty of people that take pride in it. Saline has a wonderful downtown with locally owned business. They also have parades and festivals that celebrate the heritage. Milan as well. It's really mind boggling that you think Ypsi is the only proud community in Washtenaw or the area in general. And far enough. If you want to pay much much more in taxes to live in a half abandoned city with high crime rates, because your neighbor will fix your electrical problems or a parade comes down your street, then thats your choice on your priorities. I stick by my "assumption" that most people dont want to pay huge taxes for wasted land purchases and subsidizing government property, when you can buy a nicer house a few miles away with out the extreme taxation.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

Joe, I have lived around here since 1995. I've lived near U-M. I've lived in a grad student apartment complex (more or less). I've lived in Darligton Sub in Ann Arbor. And this is my second Ypsilanti neighborhood. I'll tell you why I choose Ypsi over Ann Arbor. In Ypsi, I can buy more house for my money. I understand the people in my community. Our roads are plowed a heck of a lot more quickly than Ann Arbor's. I have bus service at the foot of my driveway, and our Fourth of July parade rolls right down my street. Our neighborhood looks out for one another. We celebrate when things go well (like Beezy's getting a great write-up here yesterday, and the pop-up markets that Mix has hosted) and we pull together when things go sideways (there are many active neighborhood watch groups, both formal and informal). I want to be part of a community that takes pride in their community, rather than just their affiliation with an employer. I want to be part of a community that's on the upswing, not just sitting around on their little plateau, talking with each other about how superior they are. I love Ypsi. It's home to me in a way Ann Arbor never was, despite having lived there longer. And it woud continue to be home to me if that doorknob governor would quit trying to run my family out of town because we're not your typical opposite sex pairing.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Joe, I have no desire at all to live in a "close nit" community, as I am not a fan of insects. I am the young professional looking to put down roots that you think finds Ypsi undesirable. I'm 35. I have several degrees and am working on a doctorate. I have a professional job, as does my wife. We have two kids and bought our house because it's in Normal Park, and we loved the neighborhood. I bought a house in southeast Michigan. Sure sounds like putting down roots to me. You might want to check your assumptions.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

jjc, you are right, and it's terrible. Because YPD continues to do the best they can with ever diminishing resources, people forget that without them, the continued economic viability of the city is severely compromised. People will not live or invest where they do not feel safe. Every citizen of the city should be at council meetings demanding that YPD and YFD not be cut further.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

@Meg, I've spent plenty of time in Ypsi, and Depot Town, and both the good and bad parts of the township, and have lived in AA, Saline, and Augusta. My opinion has nothing to do with classism, it's based on experience. Both the city and the township have it's problems. But the city's solution is and has always been to raise taxes on the citizens. Pair that with their pie-in-the-sky delusional self image of being a hip young urban center, and you've got an entity that continually blocks development and financial growth in favor of holding it's cards and waiting for a lottery win. I appreciate your desire to live in a close nit and caring community. But do you really think those dont exist in all of the surrounding communities? They most certainly do. So the question remains, why would people choose Ypsi proper over more desirable and cheaper communities in Washtenaw? I certainly understand if you've lived there long and/or grew up there and romanticize about it being something it isnt, but for a young professional, or someone from out of town looking to put down their roots, it's extremely undesirable.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Ypsivet-who do you think is gonna be cut first in the end to help balance all of this mess out? The police and fire. YPD in 1995=55 Officers. YPD today=roughly 28 Officers with many (who see the writing on the wall) looking elsewhere due to the cities tenuous financial position. Sure will be great to have a new rec center and no cops (or worse yet WCSD) and no firefighters around this great town.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

You are so right, and a large contributor to the quality of life in Ypsi is the outstanding service the community receives from its hometown police and fire departments.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

Pick a stat that fits your view. Look, Grand Rapids has had a city income tax for decades, that doesn't stop anyone from living or working in that city. And people are not in any hurry to put their houses on the market, look for a new job, or move their businesses. Let's all calm down and think a wee bit more rationally. Hey, that would make for the best New Year resolution ever.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

Chase, there's so much of which you are ignorant, apparently willingly so, that I'm not sure this is worth it, but I'll explain some facts to you. If EMU wasn't in Ypsilanti, then...what? It opened its doors in 1853 as the Michigan State Normal School. Ypsi began to be settled around 1823. Without EMU, Ypsi would have developed differently, and no one knows what that would have looked like, so what's your point? If EMU did not exist, many of the buildings now housing students would most likely be occupied by other people, as most of them were single-family homes before being converted to student housing. Your argument that there would be tons of HUD housing without EMU is baseless, since without EMU may of them probably would either not have been built or never converted to student housing to begin with. Ypsilanti city fire responds to every fire, and until just recently medical, call in the city, including every EMU building. For that service, the city receives zero from EMU/the state. Every square foot of everything that's been built in the last 30 years is built to the latest fire codes, on campus and off, and they still manage to suffer kitchen fires, electrical fires and occasionally burn to the ground anyway, so what's your point there? YFD responds frequently to campus buildings. Ypsilanti city police respond to every call for service in every building in the city, except for the ones directly on campus or part of campus, like the school of business, including the majority of student housing, which is located off campus. EMU pays nothing for this.

Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:08 a.m.

EMU - that's simply a case of say it enough and people that don't actually think about it, will believe it. You take out EMU and Ypslianti becomes Willow Run. Stop and think of the number of rental units that would go on HUD if they weren't inhabited by EMU students, faculty or staff. Or how about the number of coffee shops and restaurants that would go out of business, and the affect that would have on property values and the tax revenues to the City? Police & Fire: the EMU police department covers that area (and every square foot of space it's built over the last 30 years has had all of the latest fire codes. Oh, I forgot the City of Ypsilanti is having to repave the streets and sidewalks because they are getting worn down by all of the EMU traffic..... Get off of it.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Exactly. I can't take credit for the point, but I read a post on an earlier article about the income tax and it made a great point: EMU is a gigantic, tax-exempt presence in the city, and it uses quite a bit of city services and resources, for which it pays nothing. A city income tax would cast a much wider net for revenue. Everyone who works at EMU in the city would be subject to it. It's only fair that the tax burden be shared by all who benefit from city services...not just property owners. In fact, maybe the city council should consider a sliding scale, or an exemption that benefits property owners, who are already paying property taxes (albeit reduced ones in many cases).

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Ypsi needs a financial manager who can implement the plan in Pontiac where the police and fire departments along with other city departments were closed and the provision of those services was taken over by adjacent townships and the county. I think bankruptcy is an even better option, because it will allow the free market to work, rather than rewarding all of the investors that basically made loans to a sub-prime borrower (City of Ypsilanti) thinking that the taxpayer would be the guarantor of the sub-prime borrower. Bankruptcy will also provide appropriate adjustments to pensions that were based upon real property values that were inflated due to the Fed and Congress' sub prime lending. Chase Ingersoll


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Hank, exactly. How many of the people complaining about pensions today were complaining when their city officials skipped "mandatory" contributions to the pension funds in times of plenty, to use the money for other city projects, projects that benefitted city residents not members of the pension plans?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

Its too bad pension envy bothers so many people.

Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:01 a.m.

If there is a $9 million fund balance, why is there even talk of raising taxes or an emergency manger? It's because of the liabilities (the chickens coming home to roost) in the form of the debts due on the development debacles and the long term pension commitments. Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Benton Harbor, and Inkster weren't the only ones cutting themselves a fat hog on their pensions courtesy of the councils they helped elect. Chase Ingersoll


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

"Bankruptcy will also provide appropriate adjustments to pensions that were based upon real property values that were inflated due to the Fed and Congress' sub prime lending." What?! Pensions based on property values? Bankruptcy for a city with a $9 million fund balance? Dissolve the city's police and fire depts. in favor of county services that can't even take care of the county adequately? You must be joking.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

first of all you do NOT put two tax increases on the same ballot. You will force people to choose between one or the other and split the vote and amazingly, neither will pass LOL, someone did not read politics 101 when they were sworn onto city council. Secondly how in the world does the council have the nerve to ask for an increased taxes from the citizen's when they initially swore off giving property to the County for a rec center, then turned around and did it anyway (see the other article today) Conservatively the cost of the land that they are planning on giving, YES giving to the County would be have to about 600k per acre times 8 acres= 4.8 million dollars. Now the county being the tax exempt entity that it is NOT going to be paying the close to 240k in taxes per year on the property. But lets vote on increased taxes, lol By giving the property to the county and losing out on sale price and taxes revenue the per acre price will neccesarily have to increase substaintially (in a bad real estate market none the less, lol) which will make Water St LESS attractive to investors despite what everyone is saying, REGARDLESS of what is built there, businesses go where they get the most for their money and a rec center WILL NOT sway an entity to pay more upfront costs just to be by a rec center. Add into all of this the increase of city services that a rec center will demand (fire/ambulance runs for sprained ankles and heart attacks and police for larcenies, assaults and just general disorderly behavior) and the city loses yet again. The only way out of financial problems for a govt, a company or a family are all the same! Raise revenue and/or cut spending! no way around it. Let see raise revenue through the sale of the land and taxes: Fail Raise revenue on the backs of the citizens and those who work in Ypsi through an Income tax and additional millage: Soon to Fail. Next is gonna have to be cut spending: Hope a 15 person YPD/no YFD can handle it.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Steve- SOoooooo you really think that people are going to willingly vote yes on TWO tax increases in a city that has one of the highest property tax rates in the state, a state that has a terrble economy, un/underemployement and real estate market? I dont see it. When faced with this scenario people are invaritably going to look (at best) for the lesser of two evils. If you think that the millage is better and I think that the income tax better, you vote for one and I vote for another. Now all of our neighbors have different opinons, few like em both, some like the opposite of us and others like neither, the vote is split between yes and no votes, on two seperate taxes and they will both fail. I guess we will see who gets the "i told you so moment" if city hall does it this way. @ No flamers- I totally agree that market value of the water property is not 600k'ish (even in a great economy) per acre, the city however owes what? 32 Million for the 38 acres, which comes out to 841k and change per acre to pay off the bonds. Knock out the 8ish acres that the County looks like they are gonna get and that raises the per acre cost to just over 1 million per acre for the remaining acreage, to pay for the bonds. Burger king was gonna buy 1 acre at Mich/River for 400k, if that gives you a benchmark that non-river front property a couple of years ago.

Steve Hendel

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

You state: "first of all you do NOT put two tax increases on the same ballot. You will force people to choose between one or the other and split the vote and amazingly, neither will pass LOL, someone did not read politics 101 when they were sworn onto city council. You must have flunked Politics 101, then. In what way are people forced to choose between the two ballot proposals? Do you think they can't vote yes on both, or no on both, or yes on one and on the other?

no flamers!

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

I very much wish I agreed that the Water Street property was worth $600k/acre. If it was, the City would not have a problem of funding its debt. But the land is only worth what someone will pay. And no one has made an offer for any sizable amount of that property. In a region filled with abandoned commercial and residential structures resulting from the contraction of the auto industry, there is no need for vacant land to build on--you can buy for 1/2 the cost of building.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Soooo a net loss is better then status quo? Gotcha, I'll use that one on my wife next time I go on a shopping spree at Cabelas, LOL


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

You conveniently ignore the fact that a $4.8 million property no one wants to buy is worth $0. I do believe, however, that the current city council isn't good for anything other than cutting spending. They have no ideas to generate revenue and, in fact, don't even seem interested in exploring the idea.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

If ever a municipality needed an emergency financial manager, it's Ypsi. Why exactly would anyone want to live there? Super high taxes, half of downtown is abandoned, crime through the roof. And now they want to raise taxes more? The previous poster are right, all that will remain will be the poor.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

The Ypsi citizenry spoke resoundingly a few years ago in rejecting a proposed income tax. A highly organized opposition educated residents who voted overwhelmingly to defeat the proposal. I support the efforts of local opponents of a city income tax to again defeat this ludicrous attempt to place additional financial burdens on Ypsi residents. Say no to ta municipal income tax in Ypsi!


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

Please name one thing this council has provided that constitutes a plan for growth. I'm a progressive and I agree that certain taxes are needed, but it must be balanced with a plan for growth. This council has been going on for years now reviewing and re-reviewing budgets and shortfalls, without one single word about a growth plan to bring the tax base back. We'll just be back at square one if this thing passes, because the ten people left paying taxes will not make up for the shortfall. Demand a growth plan first before you agree to any more taxes or temporary fixes to a shortfall. Ypsilanti needs new growth, not new taxes.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

I live in the township so I cannot vote - but if I did I do not think I could support such a tax with preperty taxes as high as they are and less and less city services every year the simple idea all politicians have to fix things - raise taxes - is lazy and self-defeating elected officials need to do everything they can BEFORE they eveb consider asking for more of my hard earned money...instead of being the last resort its often the first tactic I dont know if that is the case here or not - I was making a general observation


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

They could vote to have an 'art bucket' - that would justify raising taxes


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Not hard to figure out that the higher income people that the city wants to attract will be the first ones that pick up & move outside city limits if an income tax is put in place. Others will never move in. Look at Detroit 2.5% tax on residents and 1.25% tax on workers that don't reside in the city. Doesn't seem to be attracting a lot of income earners to move to Detroit. $1500 is a steep price to live in a run down city for a $60K worker. An income tax in Ypsi will produce the same slippery slope as is did in Detroit. Those that can afford it will move out, those that can't afford to move will stay and use more than their fair share of city services. And as a result, they'll have to increase the tax rate - accelerating the vicious cycle.

Depot Town

Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

This town needs to implement non-partisan elections as soon as possible so we can get some Tea Party Republicans elected to clean up this mess. Lower taxes will attract businesses and residents to the city. An income tax will drive everyone away except the old and poor. Ron Paul 2012!