Ann Arbor Residents Slapped with a Countywide Road Repair Tax

If you are a resident of Ann Arbor, get ready because your yearly tax contribution is about to get bigger. According to news reports, a countywide tax that aims to help pay for a road repaving initiative in 2016 is soon to be imposed.

Sure, the tax offers a benefit to locals. After all, uneven roadways can lead to a serious accident. Still, shouldn’t residents have a say in whether or not a tax will be implemented? Of course! Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

The 0.5-mill tax, which was levied for the first time in December 2014, will appear on local property tax bills once again this coming December. Proceeds will go towards funding additional road repairs in 2016, which include projects to smooth out five Ann Arbor roadways: Dexter Avenue, Pauline Boulevard, Huron River Drive, Pontiac Trail, and Dhu Varren Road. According to officials, the projects, which involve removing a 1.5 to 2 inches of asphalt and laying down new surface, will extend roadway life by nine to 10 years.

Are you less than thrilled about the tax? Well, you’re not the only one. However, as with many things in life, there’s a silver lining on this dreary tax cloud. Because the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners decided to levy the roadway repair tax, Mayor Christopher Taylor will not be imposing an alternative plan that he had in mind, which involved raising city road taxes. That’s a plus…right?

The tax is expected to raise more than $7 million toward roadway repairs. Around $2.4 million is slated to go toward the repair of 4.3 miles of roads in Ann Arbor. As a result of the 2014 tax levy, $2.3 million was raised and contributed to the paving of 6.3 miles of roads.

However, when it comes to county taxes – no matter how good the intention is – issues often surface regarding the allocation of funds. There have been numerous times when counties across the United States have implemented taxes that sought to better some aspect of the community. Yet, officials would end up pocketing the proceeds and allocating them elsewhere as they saw fit.

Not to say that this will happen in Ann Arbor, but in the event that shady political activity goes down, residents should understand that they have every right to speak with a Michigan tax attorney to discuss what their options are as far as paying taxes they might find suspicious in nature.

As it stands, the road tax will cost property owners $50 for every $100,000 in taxable value. Upon first glance, it doesn’t seem like that much money. But when taxes are involved – as experienced tax attorneys can vouch for – appearances can be deceiving.

Many residents have already expressed concerns over the tax. The vast majority of concerns are related to the fact that this year, though a greater amount of revenue is predicted, significantly fewer miles are expected to be repaved. Is there something fishy going on or is the inverted tax to roadway mile repair ratio justified? That’s something only time will tell. Hopefully, for the sake of taxpayers, everything will work out in the end and residents will enjoy a smoother ride along local roads.