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June 08, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-06-08

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Michigan Daily Flig th
Edited and managed by Students at the By JAMIE KENWORTHY
N JUNE 10 there will be two proposals on
University of Michigan the ballot, one of which gives the city a one
year 1.7 property tax mill increase, Behind this
Saturday, June 8, 1974 simple request is a long story that will be
-.--.- - summarized here by one severely prejudced
News Phone: 764-0552 eye.
The budget for fiscal 194-75 shows what hap-
pens when hard times hit Ann Arbor; for to be
sure hard times will be harder on some than
others. The slate has ordered the city to reduce
e our $1.2 million debt by $00,000, the equivalent
of one mill. The city must also begin immediate
repayment of the $1 million interest free loan
by the Park Bond. Failure to do either could
REMEMBER HIGH SCHOOL? Back then, things were a mean that Lansing would forbid the city from
lot different. Attendance was required and enforced, selling bonds and he a possible prelude to the
curricttlum was rigid and irrelevant in most cases, and if state taking over the management of a bank-
rupt city. While the picture of Attorney General
students didn't like the way things were, they had only Kelley riding into town to restore fiscal order
one alternative -- bear it. has a certain momentary charm, I doubt that
many people wish Ann Arbor to become another
Here at the University, nobody calls your parents if Hamtramack
you don't show up at class. You can choose the courses THE 1974-75 ADOPTED General Fund budget
you take and even the way you cover the material. If you which will go into effect if the millage pases is
don't like your courses or the rules of the institution, you 817,96,30, p from $159000001the ear before.
The budget's largest items are $4 million for
at least have a fighting chance of making your com- police, $2 million for fire and $1,341,000 for gar-
plaints public. And you can vote. bage collection, just nosing out Parks and Re-
creation at $1,219,000. Among the smallest items
Monday, the city's voters go to the polls to decide are $91,000 for social services-a painful and
who will sit on the Board of Education. Traditionally, unjust cut of $200,000 from last year - and $45 for
turnout at school board elections has been low - about lottery tickets. The budget includes 5 per cent
for projected wage increases but the real boosts
half that for City Council races. Student precincts have are for items like gas, paper, and electricity
registered a pathetically small number of votes, which, in case you hadn't noticed, are much
Feeling, perhtaps, that school board elections do not higher in Nixon's sixth year than they were
oIn Nixon's fifth.
concern is, we have forgotten an important factor - The saddest thing about the city's situation 'is
the city's public school students can't vote, and thus that because of inflation and debt reduction, the
have no way to register their opinions about the schools budget probably will still mean layoffs and little
theaenorceytoatterndher. p simprovement in city services. A year from now
they tare forced to attend, the streets will probably be as bad as they are
now and the dog and garbage problems will
NIVERSITY STUDENTS are ofteinremitded that out- generate as many calls to wake me up as they
do now. More seriously, there will probably be
side the academic community there is another Ann fewer day care centers operating. With an 18 mill
Arbor. In the case of school control, this non-academic charter limitation on taxes, a University that
world makes itself narticularly felt. While the City Coun- exempts about half the property in the city and
refuses to pa their fair share of fire and police
cil was led by a Democratic-Human Rights Party major- costs, and the effects of continued inflation, run-
ity for several years. conservatism reigned undisturbed ning the city has become a hazardous occupa-
over the Board of Education. Presently the board has a tion.
SO THE CITY needs your help and the millage
7-2 conservative-liberal ratio, with three conservatives' should be supported, particularly because the
seats up for grabs in Monday's election. budget without the millage would be sgficantly
Unfortnnately, conservative candidates, backed by worse than the budget with the millag. The City
Administrator's original budget to Council re-
the city's Republican party. have shown greater organiz- commended a 2.5 mill increase so when the
ational ability than the Democrat-backed liberals. This Council voted to put only 1.7 on the ballot the
year. an overabundance of apparently liberal, indepen- City Administrator came in with the correspond-
ing cuts. The largest was $100,000 from police and
dent catsdidates may again result in a cotiservative vic- a $200,000 savings from Administrator Sy Mur-
tory. ray's decision to go to curbside garbage collec-
Voters have a chance to thwart this trend, however. Lion, a decision that wiped out in a sunny after-
noon one of local Republican party's chief rea-
The "liberal caucus," a coalition of Democrats, have sons for existence. The cuts to be made if the
fielded an excellent candidate, Will Simpson, and the millage fails will be all of the $91,000 still surviv-
Human Rights Party offers two fine hopefuls, Astrid ing for social services and layoffs across the
bottom of the board. With layoffs whatever thin
Beck atsd write-in candidate Larry Mann. gains have been made by affirmative action pro
gram at City Hall in the last few yea swill be
VOUNG ANN ARBOR VOTERS owe the people they left subverted if it's last hired, first fired. Between
union contracts and bureaucratic decisions it can
behind in the public schools just a few years ago be expected that the first casualties in a fiscal
a debt of recog'nition. Remember to vote Monday and help war will be the new recruits going over the hill
out the hundreds of students in the city's schools who rather than the old generals safely back at head-
can't vote to determine their education

THE ANN ARBOR SUN and the Democrats
support the millage because they believe the city
is better off with the millage than without it.
Their support of the millage is not a statement
of support for the priorities of the Council adopted
budget. The adopted budget is not a Republican
budget; they would prefer to wipe out social
services, and the already ineffective H u m a n
Rights Department and resurrect backyard pick-
up; it is not a Democratic budget for they pro
posed large transfers as a condition to putting the
millage on the ballot; and it is not an HRP
budget which presented an alternative.
What is politically interesting was the curious
scene on May 13 when the Council adopted the
Administrator's budget with only three changes
gaining the 7 votes to pass. The Republicans
were not willing to criticize or discuss a budget
that came from their own Administration but
nevertheless did not accurately reflect their
priorities. But all Democrats and the sole HRP
representatives were willing to suggest small and
large transfers of money. Whether the minority
parties represented themselves as liberal or radi-
cal, pure or pragmatic, all five Council people
were willing to enter into give and take and
small trade offs in the interest of making chang-
es, however small, toward the overall goals of
their convictions.
THE REMAINING argument against the mill-
age is that it is a property tax and therefore re-
gressive. While this is true the argument does
not address itself to the more crucial issue of
the justice of this tax at this time. Because
of the effect of a change in the state law, an
increase of property tax is now less regressive.
Low and middle income people pay property tax-
es orirent that is a high porportion of their total
income , and so get a rebate from the state
of up to $300. For low income peole up to 60
per cent of a property tax increase will be
refunded by Lansing. Hopefully next year the
effect of the circuit breaker will be publicized
more by local government and media so all
those people will file returns who are eligible for
refunds. Presently many don't file because they
have no taxable income or are renters and nis-
takenly think they don't pay taxes. (It is still
not too late to file for last year.)
The most permanent and equitable solution to
the city's mess is an income tax but there are
problems here too. The state gives cities under
1 million population authority to levy only a flat
rate 1 per cent income tax on residents and
'a per cent on commuters, not the "steeply grad-
uated" income tax that is proposed by some. It is
hard to balance a budget with tools you don't
have. The other problem is that by charter
limitation if an income tax is adopted it must
be coupled with a 7.5 property tax decrease. An
income tax raises the equivalent of 8.5 mills so
the gain is small. Hopefully, on next April's
ballot there will be a proposal for boh an in-
come tax and a new charter.
ALL THIS LEADS away from the point of this
short course on the affairs of our crippled, bank-
rupt, off-priorities city government On grounds
of the need to preserve some money for social
services and to prevent a severe deterioration in
the level of all services, such as park mainten-
ance, fire response time, etc., the short term
necessity is for everyone to support the city's
request for a one year 1.7 mill increase on the
iJune 10 ballot.
Jaiiiss K isorthy is Democratic repesinta-
tir, to ) Ct Council from the ourth Ward.

ES)eA-PIro TReA1s WITH us

Letters to the Daily

To Tle Daily:
ensen, seriously misquotes me
in the front page article "U"
keeps student records secret,"
on May 22. Ie attributes to ie
something i never said to him,
Ido not believe, and told him
Sspsecifically that I dss not betieve.
Mr. Sorensen interviesed ue
sver the telephone on May 21
At the completion of she inter-
iew, I asked him to check ss'ssh
me any opinion he would attri-
bute to me. He then read to me
a quotation that he had ab-
straited frsimssoisi interv'iewv, I
suggested a clarification of it,
tie revised it accordingly, and
he told m5e that remark was
the one he intended to use in
his story. He did not. Instead, he
'rote that I said somethiig that
I had told him I would not say.
-Martin Gold
May 22
I apologte if I hats' ison-
s/rood aoy of Prof. Gold's state-
eents. In the article I wrote

that "Psycholoy Prof. Marvin
Gold . . . declares that all
coinselors' comments should e
lade atiailable to students if
t/y are ised by the Unier-
[it ;is s)inteie wisaith Prof.
Gold, h told the that all coun-

selors' comments should he
made available to students if
tsey are iised by the 'U'-with
afew exviceptions isuc as com-
ments recorded by psyrhiatrists
who may have consulted the
-Jeff Sorensen

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Bill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm. 412, Cannon Bldg., Capitol
Ilill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Laosing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi. 48933.
soisincr Staff

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