Ypsilanti fails in marketing $30 million Water Street property

We have written several times now how the City of Ypsilanti is spending more money and energy getting information out about the City Income Tax and Water Street millage then they are trying to sell Water Street. Well it gets worse. CB Richard Ellis was hired by the City to market and sell Water Street. If you go to the CBRE website and search for 48198, Water Street is nowhere to be found.

They do have an icon on Water Street but the description is for 9 acre industrial site next to Carter Lumber in the Township.

If you search for Ypsilanti and don’t put the zip, code you will find a listing for Water Street but the directions are wrong saying West Michigan rather than East Michigan.

Why hasn’t the city checked on this in the last 2 years? Oh wait we know why, they are more interested chasing grants and spending precious city resources on a Climate Action Plan and writing Planned Unit Development plans for for non-existent Water Street developers then they are in actually trying to sell Water Street.

Or perhaps the reason is because the City never renewed their contract with CBRE in over a year.

Turns out both of these are true.

Not only is there no contract with CBRE, CBRE wants to work out details on how giving away land for the rec center will affect their commission. CBRE apparently even offered to refund $70,000 if city renewed.

Wait, they aren’t done, now they have more taxes planned

Ypsi’s New Fiscal Plan, a Tornado

In the mail today was a copy of the City of Ypsilanti’s new Climate Action Plan Strategy for 2012. The planners and staff at City Hall are having a Climate Action Town Hall meeting on Mar 28. It is apparently more fun to come up with a Climate Action Plan than it is to come up with a Plan for Water Street. When is the City Council and staff going to make Water Street a priority?

It is with some irony the supporters of higher Ypsilanti taxes keep running around asking “What is your plan, man?” Well, here is the City’s Plan.

Their Plan, More Taxes

Buried in the text of green bike paths and solar power which are all good things, the City is proposing three NEW TAXES on city residents, businesses and neighboring communities. You didn’t read this wrong. These are taxes above and beyond the new City Income Tax and the new Property Tax Increase to pay for the Water Street fiasco already on the ballot on Tuesday, May 8. So that makes it Five New Taxes. So here they are.

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The Water Street Story

Many people keep asking, what is Water Street and why does the City of Ypsilanti owe over $30 million on a land speculation deal gone horribly wrong. It is story about why City government should never get into the land speculation business and how consultants, planners, bond attorneys, and a very young and inexperienced city planning staff joined forces with a Mayor and City Council who wanted to transform a small town in Michigan. The result is a college town of just over 18,000 saddled with a crushing debt, threatening to lay off the police and fire department, unless voters agree to a 30% increase in taxes to pay for the Water Street fiasco.

The story is fascinating and it isn’t over. The city paid over $750,000 an acre for the 38 acre contaminated brownfield site next to City Hall along the Huron River and Michigan Avenue.

Today, a new Council led by a Mayor largely hand-picked by the previous mayor that got us so deeply mired in Water Street is now pushing to give 8 to 10 acres of the land to the County to build a Recreation Center. They want to site the Rec Center on the very best part of the commercial property right along the river and busy Michigan Avenue. That land giveaway will cost the citizens of Ypsilanti, over $7 million to build a rec center that won’t generate a single dollar in taxes.

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Enough is Enough

Ypsilanti residents and voters cannot afford to pay 30% more in taxes to the City. Ypsilanti already has the highest taxes in the county and our tax burden is already 40% more than the Township.

If these new taxes pass, our tax burden will be double that in Ypsi Township by 2017.

For example: you and your friend live in similar houses both worth $200,000, she in the Township and you in the City. She pays $4,150 a year in taxes to Ypsilanti Township and you will pay over $8,400 in property taxes, income tax, and water surcharges to the City of Ypsilanti.

The township doesn’t have a 70% water surcharge tax nor a Township Income Tax and property taxes in the City will be 46% higher than the Township.

You will never be able to sell your house if someone can buy the very same house in the Township and pay less than half the taxes.

Stand up and make you voice heard. Sign up today at www.StopCityIncomeTax.com and help us defeat these new taxes on Tuesday May 8

Find out what you will pay with our Tax Calculator