What is Stop City Income Tax (SCIT)?
SCIT is a group of private citizens advocating alternatives to higher taxes in the City of Ypsilanti. We are the neighbors that you see every day. We are the guy filling up his pickup at the gas pump. We are the couple in the next booth at your favorite restaurant. We are union members and stay-at-home moms. We are professionals, we are students. We are residents of Ypsilanti who love this town and want it to thrive.
What are our values and beliefs, and why are we opposing the proposed income tax and millage?
Ypsilanti is our home and we want it to succeed. We believe in transparency in government and expect our elected officials to be honest about our options. We recognize our challenges, but fear the consequences of higher taxes. We hope to suggest, advise, and make our case for change, but the ultimate responsibility rests with City Hall. To date, it has delivered the Water Street fiasco, pension bloat, and now the proposition that our community must have the highest taxes in the State to survive.
It cannot be emphasized enough that City Hall has no plan. All it has is a two-page spreadsheet of projected revenues and expenses, based on assumptions of property-value trends that it cannot articulate, reproduce, or defend. The entire argument for higher taxes is built upon “various factors” we are not allowed to know. There are no other substantive documents, roadmaps, or proposals. That is not a plan.
Even if City Hall’s estimates of the natural trend in property values over the next five years are correct, they absolutely fail to consider the additional drop in value (i.e. lost tax revenue) that higher taxes will inevitably cause.
Under City Hall’s proposal, the buyer of a $120,000 home in Ypsilanti would pay an additional $31,000 over a 30-year mortgage. Home buyers will reflect this fact by reducing offering prices, thereby driving down property values. In other words, while the proposal for higher taxes superficially covers short-term costs on paper, any gains would be quickly lost by erosion of the tax base.
This means Ypsilanti would likely be left with the same or lower revenue, lower homeowner equity, and the stigma of an income tax. This is in addition to the much higher taxes that City Hall already plans to impose (without your vote), to cover past pension giveaways – something it often forgets to mention when selling its “plan.”
SCIT understands that taxes are important to support our community and quality of life. However, the proposal from City Hall is self-defeating, fails to correct any structural issues, and will exacerbate our problems at great cost.