Ypsilanti Income Tax, Millage Voted Down

With results reported from six of the seven precincts in the city of Ypsilanti, voters overwhelmingly rejected two major proposals on the May 8 ballot: A city income tax, and a millage to pay off debt for the Water Street parcel. The proposed city income tax was voted down with 1,313 no votes (68%) to 625 yes votes (32%) from six precincts. The proposed Water Street millage failed 1,291 (67%) to 644 (33%).

At Aubree’s in Depot Town, volunteers who worked for SCIT (Stop City Income Tax) appeared more interested in the pizza provided by SCIT than in additional voting results, which as early as 9 p.m. were clearly in their favor. Peter Fletcher, spokesperson for SCIT, was not available for comment on Tuesday evening.

A bit north, at the Corner Brewery, a smaller crowd of those who had worked for the proposals included Ypsilanti city councilmember Peter Murdock, mayor Paul Schreiber, and Beth Bashert, chair of the campaign to pass both proposals.

Bashert said she was “very disappointed, but the voters have spoken, and they want solutions not based on increasing revenue. In the next couple of years council will have to make choices.” She said the question of trying again was “not relevant now. The voters have spoken.” She described the campaign as “fantastic, with the support of all key leaders.”

When asked “What’s next?” Schreiber answered: “The budget – we have to make cuts. The last thing I want is an emergency manager in Ypsilanti. We have to continue the trend of the last 10 years of cutting. There will be staff cuts; we’re looking at the fire department.”

Ypsilanti city council is scheduled to begin discussion of the 2012-2013 budget on Thursday evening, May 10. Schreiber said he also expects on Thursday to announce the candidate for city manager. With the clear result from the election, and new city manager in place, Ypsilanti will begin to make difficult decisions, he said.

Updated after initial publication: With all precincts reporting, the income tax was defeated by 1,808 votes against (64.39%) to 1,000 in favor (35.61%). The Water Street millage was rejected with 1,786 votes against (63.67%) to 1,019 votes in favor (36.33%).