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Sep 18

Festival Latino

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

So I’m hanging out at Festival Latino and I swear overheard the Mayor trying to “suggest” the festival “relocate” somewhere else next year.

Oh, c’mon already. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I know you’re thinking the joke is getting old, but it’s still funny. I can still get some mileage out of it for a while, so please bear with me.

The festival is always a lot of fun, but I was very excited to see the triumvirate of local politicians present. Considering that the only phrases in Spanish that I know are “¿Cuánto para su bebé?” and “¿Donde está la estrella emigre a convención?”, I couldn’t quite make out what State Senator Liz Brater read to the crowd, but I thought I heard her say the City of Ypsilanti is going to slide into receivership because she’s not going to offer up any legislation to correct Proposal A and allow cities such as Ypsilanti to benefit from the pop-up tax.

Like I said, my Spanish is rusty, so she may not have really said that. You can ask her yourself Monday night at the second Town Hall meeting on City finances to be held at 7PM at Perry Child Development Center at 550 Perry Street.

[NOTE: The so-called “pop-up” is where the State equalized value (i.e. market value) of a newly-sold property becomes the basis for its property tax assessment, rather than the capped taxable value of the previous owner (which is lower). Said another way, if a house with a taxable value of $50K ($2,832 in property taxes) were sold for $500K, the new owner would pay property taxes on the new SEV of $250K ($14,158 in property taxes). Cities like Ypsilanti do not realize the full benefit of this new tax revenue ($11,326 in my lousy example) because the “pop-up” is subject to the Headlee rollback; meaning other homeowners would actually see their property taxes decrease. Said yet another way, if every homeowner in the City of Ypsilanti were to somehow, magically sell their houses for $1M each, the City would not see a substantial gain in property tax revenue. We’d still be in a financial crisis. We’d still be screwed.]

Our State representatives and senators tell us they are doing everything they can to help Ypsilanti. That’s nonsense. The officials elected to serve us could offer bills to correct this Headlee / Proposal A loophole. Both Senator Liz Brater and State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith will be on hand Monday night to answer questions about Lansing’s role in Ypsilanti’s financial crisis. Ask them why they aren’t offering up this legislation. This will be your only chance to grill them on the issue.

Don’t blow it.

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