Measure introduced as Detroit Institute of Arts seeks to game the system by asking to renew its millage in a low turnout election
Rep. Jeff Yaroch, of Richmond, is highlighting his plan to give local communities more control over taxation related to art institute authorities.
Yaroch’s measure – House Bill 5285 – comes as the Detroit Institute of Arts seeks an early renewal of its millage which taxes property owners in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties.
Current state law dictates that if a majority of voters within a county approve an art institute authority millage, residents in every community within that county must pay the tax. When this passed in 2012 almost every community in Yaroch’s House district voted no. Yaroch’s measure would change the law so individual cities, villages and townships could put on the ballot a vote to withdraw from the authority if the majority of their own voters decide to do so.
“This is a simple issue – if voters within a local community decide they want to opt out, they should be able to opt out,” Yaroch said. “Voters in each and every local community should be allowed to decide what’s best for themselves, rather than being tied to a county-wide vote.”
Yaroch represents the 33rd District in the Michigan House, which includes the townships of Armada, Lenox, Ray and Richmond, the majority of Macomb Township, the cities of Richmond and Memphis, and the villages of New Haven and Armada.
Macomb County voters narrowly approved a 10-year DIA millage in 2012, but the majority of voters within several individual communities were opposed to the plan.
The DIA previously indicated it would not seek a renewal of the millage, but recently changed course – asking Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties for a renewal.
Yaroch’s plan has been referred to the House Tax Policy Committee for consideration.