On May 6th, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township will weigh in on a ballot proposal for new 0.7 mill property tax to pay for expanded public transportation services, primarily AAATA busing.
- The “More Buses” campaign (business leaders, elected officials and community organizations including the Ecology Center) supports the transit tax increase to finance expansions to public transit in Washtenaw County’s urban core, and claims that the AAATA plan will reduce congestion, make the region more bike and pedestrian friendly, help get seniors, people with disabilities, and workers where they need to go, and that enhanced public transit also could lead to better land-use planning and reduce urban sprawl.
- The “Better Transit Now” campaign (composed primarily of Ann Arbor residents) opposes the transit tax, arguing that the AAATA’s budget is already strong enough to provide adequate bus service to the Ann Arbor area and that efforts to increase inbound commuters from outside the city are outside the scope of the AAATA’s mission.
- Mike Garfield, Director of the Ecology Center, says, ““Transportation is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, so expanding public transit is one of the most important things we can do to reduce carbon pollution.”
May 6, 2014 Special Election: Transit Tax Millage
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) has called for a Special Election proposal to finance expansions to their bus service that will appear on the May 6 ballot in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.
If approved, the new tax (0.7-mill property tax) would cost the owner of a $200,000 home an extra $70 per year and help pay for a 44 percent increase in AAATA services, including extended hours of bus service on nights and weekends, new routes, more frequent trips and expanded dial-a-ride/paratransit services for seniors and the disabled. If approved the milage is expected to raise to raise nearly $4.4 million in annual funding.
Here is the exact wording of the millage:
The Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority have called for a Special Election on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 for the purpose of voting on the following question: PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT MILLAGE
To improve public bus, van, and paratransit services—including expanded service hours, routes, destinations, and services for seniors and people who have disabilities—shall the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority levy a new annual tax of 0.7 mills ($0.70 per $1000 of taxable value) on all taxable property within the City of Ann Arbor, the City of Ypsilanti, and the Charter Township of Ypsilanti for the years 2014-2018 inclusive?
The estimate of revenue if this millage is approved is $ 4,368,847.00 for 2014. This revenue will be disbursed to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and, as required by law, a portion may be subject to capture by the downtown development authorities of the Cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and the local development finance authority of the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.