Ypsilanti Income Tax: Vote yes, I think

This one goes out for the Ypsi locals….

I have waffled on this personally quite a bit, and I can’t say that I am 100% convinced that this is all going to work out, but I think I’ve been persuaded by some things I’ve read lately that the only decent solution to Ypsilanti’s financial woes is to vote yes on the proposed income tax. More below if you’re interested.

Let me get a couple disclaimers out of the way first:

  • While I have lived in Ypsilanti for nine or so years now and while we have no realistic plans on moving out of town anytime soon, I do not consider myself to be “Ypsi-proud.” I like Ypsilanti and all that, but even though I’ve lived here almost as long as I’ve lived anywhere else, I’m not really from here. Call me “Iowa-proud” first. But quite frankly, if it weren’t for the real estate collapse, we would probably be getting ready to sell and move to Ann Arbor.
  • I don’t know a whole lot about Ypsilanti politics and the personalities and such involved. From what I can tell, the politics in town is sort of an “insiders” kind of deal, which is pretty typical of small(ish) towns everywhere.
  • I have a lot of sympathy with the “No” argument which basically boils down to “The city has wasted a bunch of money over the years, so why should we give them more?”

So, with that out of the way, the reason why I’m voting yes on a city income tax basically boils down to this: the “yes” people are better writers.

I’ve been reading Mark Maynard’s blog off and on the last couple weeks, and the general tone/sense I get there from folks who seem to be for the income tax strikes me as more reasonable than those against it. That’s kind of vague, but if you scan through the comments folks have made, you might see what I mean.

More specifically though were the editorials in Sunday’s Ann Arbor News, “‘Yes’ vote would bring money from 10,000 out-of-towners,” and “‘No’ vote needed because harm would outweigh good.” I thought the “yes” article put it out there in clear terms about where the money is going to go, about how much money the income tax is likely to raise, etc., etc. I thought the “no” article didn’t; in fact, I thought the no position here (and elsewhere, notably on Mark’s blog) has basically boiled down to fear mongering.

So it’s not a great solution, but it’s the best one we’ve got. So vote yes, I guess.

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