The Craig Fahle Show

Ann Arbor/Ypsi Transit Proposal Splits Residents

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, will decide today whether to approve a 0.7 mill tax increase to pay for buses and transportation updates. Supporters have adopted the slogan “more buses, more places, more often”, while opponents’ yard signs read “we pay enough.”

"We can have here in Ann Arbor, and in Ypsilanti, the services they are proposing, and we don't need to raise taxes to pay for it" says Ted Annis, former board member and treasurer of AAATA, who is against the proposal. He says there is waste and "pork" within the current transit budget that could provide the money necessary. "My organization absolutely wants those services (being proposed)," but, he says, the organization needs to find another way to pay for them.

"You just can't bring in an additional $4-million a year by cutting around the edges," says State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) who is in favor of the proposal. "This is a great plan that will allow people to get to work on the bus."

Irwin says he isn't surprised by the aggressive discourse in Ann Arbor over the issue -- including yard signs being stolen and many neighbors with opposing signs. He says local politics is always colorful in Ann Arbor.

In a city that already has high property taxes, but prides itself on its public transportation, which way will voters go?