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Detroit Institute of Arts Levy Implementation (August 2012)

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A Detroit Institute of Arts Levy Implementation measure was on the August 7, 2012 ballot in the city of Detroit which is in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

This measure sought to implement a new levy rate of .2 mills in order to help pay for the Institute of Arts Museum. This levy would give a dedicated amount of money to the museum to help pay for operations and staff costs and would last for a period of ten years.[1]

Election results

Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Measure
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 370,111 62.7%
No220,09537.3%


Source: Macomb County Elections, Art Institute Results
Oakland County Elections, Current Election Results
Wayne County Elections, Current Election Results

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

The Macomb County Art Institute Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 296 of 2010 and formed to allow for continuing support of art institute services for the students, residents and visitors of Macomb County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.2 mill (20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue to an art institute services provider for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing art institute services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.2 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2012 through 2021? It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage would generate approximately $ 4,877,863.36 in 2012.[2][3]

Support

Officials said that the museum has already laid off workers and reduced costs. The funds from the proposed increase, they said, would help keep the museum open.[1] Those in favor have argued that the museum needs the funding to continue to support exhibits and programs. If approved, the museum would attempt to also seek fundraising money. Reports indicate that they would need $400 million to support a majority of the museum's needs. Proponents also argue that the Institute is an important part of the city and while the Institute has raised a significant amount of money on its own, the rest is up to residents to support. Those in favor also stated that even if everyone does not go to the museum, it is still important for the city and deserves to be support by everyone.[4]

Opposition

Those opposed argue that if the levy is implemented then it would be a short step for additional increases, which could create higher tax burdens for county residents. Some residents added, that while they do support the Institute, they feel that there are already enough taxes in the county and more would not be beneficial for residents. The funding burden, they said, should be placed on those who use the museum most.[4]

Path to the ballot

The Macomb County board originally declined to place this measure on the ballot. After later consideration and public input, the board changed their opinion and voted 5-3 to place the measure on the ballot.[5]

The Oakland County commission was split about adding this measure to the ballot. Some commissioners thought that any new taxes in the county would be bad for re-election goals.

The museum has pushed for a dedicated property tax from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties because city funding has continued to decrease.[6]

Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties have placed the measure on ballots. All three counties are also developing a board to oversee the use of the funds generated by the levy.[7]

See also

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