County Tax for Econ Dev Gets Initial Approval

On a 7-3 vote, Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to authorize the levy of 0.05 mills in December 2011 for support of economic development and agriculture. The vote was taken at their Sept. 7, 2011 meeting and will be followed by a final vote on Sept. 21. Voting against the millage were Alicia Ping, Wes Prater and Dan Smith. Ronnie Peterson was absent.

The anticipated $688,913 in millage proceeds will be allocated to several local entities: Ann Arbor SPARK ($230,000), SPARK East ($50,000), the county’s dept. of community & economic development ($131,149), Eastern Leaders Group ($100,000), promotion of heritage tourism ($65,264), Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP – $15,000), Washtenaw 4-H ($82,500) and Washtenaw County 4-H Youth Show ($15,000).

The millage – authorized under the state’s Act 88 – would cost homeowners $5 for each $100,000 of their home’s taxable value. Act 88 predates the state’s Headlee Amendment, and therefore the millage can be approved by the board without a voter referendum.

Six people spoke at a public hearing on the millage held at the board’s meeting, all in support of it.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]