Ann Arbor Parks Tax Renewal Passes

Renewal of the park maintenance and capital improvements millage was overwhelmingly approved by Ann Arbor voters on Nov. 6, with 34,959 voters (68.44%) casting yes votes compared with 16,123 (31.56%) voting against it.

The millage was approved by a majority of voters in every precinct in the city, with the strongest support coming from Ward 1, Precinct 3, where 82.3% of voters supported the parks tax.  Weakest support for the parks tax citywide came in Ward 2, Precinct 2 where 53.6% of voters said yes.

The current 1.1 mill tax expires this year. The renewal runs from 2013-2018 and will raise about $4.9 million next year. The recommended allocation of revenues is 70% for park maintenance activities, and 30% for park capital improvement projects. Of that allocation, up to 10% can be shifted between the two categories as needed.

Examples of park maintenance activities include “forestry and horticulture, natural area preservation, park operations, recreation facilities, and targets of opportunity,” according to a staff memo distributed to PAC in June. Capital improvement projects would cover parks, forestry and horticulture, historic preservation, neighborhood parks and urban plazas, park operations, pathways, trails, boardwalks, greenways and watersheds, and recreation facilities. [More projects are listed on the city's website.]

There had been no formal opposition to this millage renewal. Ingrid Ault, a member of the city’s park advisory commission, formed a campaign committee (Friends of the Parks) in October  to promote the renewal.