Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Ypsi Twp. seeks tax hike for police services

Bombadill's

Two-mill increase proposed by township officials

By Christine Laughren
Aug. 19, 2009    ·    9:45 a.m.


Ypsilanti Township approved ballot language for a proposed 2-mill tax increase to maintain the current level of police services.

The Township must file ballot language by Tuesday in order for the measure to go before the voters in the November 3 election.

The four-year tax levy, which passed unanimously, is expected to generate approximately $3,230,770 in the first year. The proposal is expected to replace police services revenues lost due to decreases in property values.

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said the tax increase is to preserve the Township’s police coverage of 38 deputies.

If the proposal is defeated, the township estimates it would have to cut approximately 10 deputies to remain solvent.

“It’s up to the voters,” Stumbo said at Tuesday evening’s township board meeting. “It’s a last resort, there’s nowhere else to cut.”

Stumbo also stated several times the millage would be lowered if taxable values in the township increased sooner than expected.

“It is definitely not our intent to hire more deputies even if I think we need them,” Stumbo said. “We have talked about how important safety is."

Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe said with criminal activity going up she wouldn't want to even think about living in a community with 10 less deputies.

If passed, the increased taxes for police services would take effect in December and expire in 2012.

The township is searching for ways to tackle a two-year budget as it faces steep losses in taxable value and state shared revenue. Township officials estimate a 30 to 40 percent decline in taxable value by 2013.

Following its announcement to close and sell the Willow Run Transmission Operations Plant, General Motors also filed a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal to have its taxable value in Ypsilanti Township reduced from $166 million to $45 million in preparation of the company shutting the facility down.

Paired with the loss in tax revenue from the ACH/Ford plant and residential tax-payers challenging their assessments, the township estimates approximately $400 million in lost tax revenue by 2011.

In 2009 the township lost $187,000 in state shared revenue and anticipates less from the state in coming years as it deals with its own budget crisis.

The township has had a mill rate (amount of tax per $1,000 of taxable property value) of 10.4 since 2003 according to Stumbo.

Township residents will also be voting on a county-wide ballot measure for a 2-mill tax increase for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

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