FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2011
CONTACT: Matt Bach
Dir. of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Residents Step Up for Local Services
Voters Show That ‘Cutting Taxes’ Isn’t Only Answer
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Published reports showing that 80 percent of tax-related requests were approved by Michigan voters Tuesday is consistent with other recent election results and the trend that Michigan residents are supporting tax increases for services they value.
An analysis of statewide poll results on November 8 showed Michigan voters passed about 80 percent of the millage requests before them, with cities and villages having success in seeking tax increases for everything from police and public transit to libraries and recreational facilities. MIRS news service reported Wednesday that 60 out of 73 tax-related requests were approved in Michigan communities. Following the May, 2011 elections, the League did an analysis and found that 16 out of 20 millage requests were approved.
“While legislators continue to talk about the need for more 'efficiencies' they are failing to realize that local communities are doing everything possible to combine services and that state cuts are just leading to local tax increases,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO & Executive Director for the Michigan Municipal League.
Further cuts in revenue sharing, eliminating personal property tax or cutting property tax revenues will simply lead to communities asking for even more taxes. Those that are successful will be able to provide necessary services, while those that are unsuccessful will not. Unfortunately, communities where millage proposals failed will see service cuts leading to a diminished quality of place at a time when Michigan is trying to attract and retain a population of all ages, especially the young and talented relocating at a record-breaking pace.
“While we are pleased that our local communities are having success at the ballot box to support police, fire, public transit and other essential services, this trend does represent a concern down the road about the potential disparity it could create between communities,” said Karen Majewski, MML Board President and Mayor of Hamtramck. “This potential disparity in communities will not allow Michigan to attract the necessary talent because we can't create the kinds of places they want to live in."
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.