The Michigan Daily-Thursday, June 8, 1978-Page 3
Israel convicts Esmail
of PFLP membership
From Staff and Wire Reports
A Tel Aviv district court convicted
Sami Esmail, a 23-year-old American
of Palestinian descent, of membership
in a Palestinian guerrilla group yester-
day but acquitted him of the more
serious charge of contact with a foreign
Esmail, a graduate student in
engineering at Michigan State who was
born in New York, was arrested at Ben-
Gurion Airport on Dec. 21 when he
arrived in Israel to visit his dying
father, a naturalized American who
lived in the occupied West Bank.
He was charged with membership in
the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP) and with having con-
tact at Michigan State and in Libya
with foreign agents.
Following the verdict, the court
heard a character witness, Michigan
State Professor Robert Barr, who ap-
pealed to the court for mercy because
the 24-year-old engineering student's
pro-Palestinian activities were entirely
legal at home in the United States.
"I AM COMPLETELY innocent of
the charges," said Esmail, who faces
up to 10 years in jail after sentencing
"My only crime is solidarity with the
oppressed, homeless Palestinian people
See ESMAIL, Page 9
SAMI ESMAIL, accompanied by an Israeli policeofficer (on left) smiles for
photographers before he was convicted of being a member of a Palestinian
guerrilla organization yesterday.
A feels property tax squeeze
'They're really beating us to death'
By JUDY RAKOWSKY
Property taxes are tightening the
squeeze on taxpayers nationwide and
Michigan places seventh in the country
for high tax levels. Ann Arbor's housing
shortage produces even more
devastating rates because it boosts the
market values of homes.
From 1966 to 1976 average property
taxes across the U.S. jumped 111 per
cent, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau. Michigan's per capita property
taxes surged 140 per cent. Ann Arbor's
own tax rate fell a bit last year, accor-
ding to Deputy Assessor Ed Young, but
that does not mean the property taxes
themselves plunged. The standard six
per cent yearly increase keeps local
taxpayers hopping to afford the burden.
"THEY'RE REALLY beating us to
death," said property owner Lynn Bell.
Bell purchased his home in 1946, at
which time he was paying $200 per year
in property taxes. Presently, Bell kicks
State House shelves
vote on pot enalies
LANSING (UPI) - The state House THE MOTION'S sponsor, Rep.
approved a Republican-sponsored William Bryant, favors the bill but said
motion yesterday which delays in- he does-not want it taken up suddenly
definitely the vote on a politically sen- without fair warning to both sides and
sitive bill eliminating jail penalties for wants to avoid an emotional floor fight
possession of small amounts of unless there is clearly adequate support
marijuana. for the ure.
On a 54-42 vote, the Senate-passed bill "The object is ... there is no reason
"The object isa rareltheredisanlireaso
was tabled - a rarely-used parliamen- to leave it on the calendar making it
tary move which means the measure subject to consideration at any time
cannot even be discussed unless a with no notice to anyone when it's such
majority of House members vote to w onte to and when i' such
take it up a controversial issue and when we have
in $700 per year to the city's property
revenues. "It's really ridiculous and a
burden on us," Bell remarked,
Bill Tyler of McKinley Properties
said the tax burden "is more pronoun-
ced on single family homes than com-
mercial or apartment properties"
because the large property owners can
pas the expense on to tenants and
customers. Tyler also said the market
is "hotter" with greater turnover in the
single family home are.
The tax strain is not as dramatic on
individual tenants of multi-family
dwellings because increases are spread
throughout the year and among all the
tenants, according to Tyler.
Homeowners, however, must foot the
entire bill. "A house is the homeowner's
major asset and the buck stops there,"
"I'M NOT dreadfuilly unsatisfied
(with taxes) for the services provided,"
said homeowner Phillip Converse. Con-
verse has owned his Ann Arbor house
for 13 years, during that time his
property taxes have taken, "some leaps
here and there but nothing like Califor-
nia." Converse said he pays $2,000 a
year for property assessments.
Because of limited staff, the City
Assessor's Office is able to assess each
property only on a bi-annual basis. The
state constitution dictates that the
taxes comprise 50 per cent of the
market value of the home. Young said
Ann Arbor's property taxes are high
because, "There's a definite imbalance
in the laws of supply and demand" in
the housing market.
Young said the Ann Arborites who
tend to complain about their taxes,
"haven't ventured out of the city," to
see the level of taxes others are paying.
Local property taxes "are not
unreasonably high" when compared to
Boston or California's tax rate which
are both two to three times Ann Arbor's
rate, according to Young. "Everyone
tends to speak of them because
everyone has to pay them," Young
HE ADDED that people should con-
sider that 60 per cent of those taxes go
to schools and they can't expect to pay
less taxes and expect the city to meet
its payrolls. "To cut taxes back to 1975
levels and expect individuals to operate
withkless money is not progressive
thinking," Young said.
Michigan provides a tax credit to help
offset the property tax burden. The
credit is compiled based on the
household income and the amount of
taxes the property owner pays.
The tax credit system is set up to
See A2, Page 10
See STATE, Page 10
Bullard, who is well known by students for his
State races set strong advocacy of reduced penalties for marijuana
The stage was set yesterday for this summer's possession, faces no opposition in the Aug. 8
hot political battles as the filing deadline passed for primary. Republican Douglas Buchanan, a local at-
candidates seeking the 18th state senatorial seat torney will oppose Bullard in the November elec-
and the 53rd House seat. The final pre-primary card tion.
lists three Democrats and four Republicans vying
for the seat to be vacated by Sen. Gilbert Bursley, Haappenings ...
who announced his retirement after 18 years in the slim today and begin at 11 a m with a
Senate. The Democrats campaigning for luseys ..areslmtdyanbeiat1am.wha
seat are: Edward Pierce, a hard-luck loser in the Rackham Student Government meeting in the E.
past congressional elections; Ypsilanti Mayor Alcove Rm. of Rackham . . . Emery George will
George Goodman; and bail bondsman Harold read some of his own poetry at noon in the Pen-
Moon, who lost a previous bid for the State Senate in dleton Rm. of the Union ... at 7:30 p.m. in MLB 3,
1974. The GOP hopefuls include: Fourth Ward City the Astronomical Film Festival will.-present Space
Councilman Ronald Trowbridge, who lost for a Shuttle ... and also at 7:30, there will be a meeting
-congressional seat in 1976; C. William Colburn, a of the Women's International League for Peace and
former Third Ward councilman; Herome Klein, a Freedom at 2558 Oakdale Dr.
realtor and current president of the Ann 'Arbor
Board of Realtors; and Michael Stimpson, an ac- A family aff
countant with the county treasurer's office. State air
Rep. Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor) said he would Bedfellows make strange politics; just ask a
seek a fourth consecutive term in the legislatr husband and wife.rpn Ior i?, Michigan who just.
launced their campaigns for the same county com-
mission seat. But they won't be pitted against one
another in the August primary because Robert
Cusack filed as a Democrat, while Beverly is run-
ning as a Republican. The Cusacks view the
situation philosophically. "Each of us knows that
the best one will win," says Beverly. "She's got her
party and I've got mine," adds Robert. Even their
14-yar-old daughter Karen seems headed for a
career in politics; she's got the method for dealing
with reporters down pat already. When asked what
she thought about the race she replied, "No com-
On the outside*...
. . . there's an old saying that if you don't like
Michigan weather, just wait a minute and it will
change -not this time. We can expect another
cloudy, dank day with showers in the morning and a
high of 71. Tonight's low will dip into the 40s, but
Friday should bring us some sunshine.
t _ . .