DIA Millage Passes Only 9 Precincts in Macomb Twp., Most Support in SW
Absentee ballots counted for half of all votes cast in Macomb Township on the DIA millage and other races that appeared on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
The DIA millage may have passed in Macomb County Aug. 7, but just 8 percent of that approval came from residents in Macomb Township.
Of Macomb Township’s 35 precincts, only nine passed the proposed 10-year tax of 0.2 mills, with Precinct 20 passing the measure by just one vote. Precincts in southwest Macomb generally supported the millage, while northern and eastern precincts rejected the proposal without exception (See precinct map attached).
Between absentee ballots and Election Day votes, 12,187 township votes (a 22.3 percent voter turnout) were cast on the Arts Authority Millage, of which 6,046 were a resounding “No.” Just over half of these “No” votes came in the form of absentee ballots.
But Macomb’s opposition to the millage wasn’t enough to fail it countywide. The millage passed by a mere 1,340 votes across the county and the tax will be levied in all municipalities for the next 10 years.
At 0.2 mills, a Macomb taxpayer owning a $200,000 home, with a taxable value of $100,000, would be expected to pay about $20 a year.
In return for this financial support, residents and school groups from the three counties that supported the millage (Macomb, Oakland and Wayne) receive free admission to the museum for the next decade, starting now.
“Very disappointed,” wrote Jennifer Kleinsorge Szarejko on Facebook. “We never go there, the school doesn't even take the kids as a field trip. I hate paying for something I'll never use. Huge disappointment.”
Amy Wilczynski took a different view.
“The DIA is truly one of the city's gems,” she wrote. “I plan to take my daughter for a visit soon.”
Meanwhile Denise Darnell questioned if passing this millage wasn’t opening the door to other Metro Detroit attractions turning to suburban voters for funding.
“Wondering how many more will start doing this,” Darnell wrote. “The zoo already charges too much for a family. The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village can break a family's budget and that doesn't include riding the train; carousel or river boat or even buying a hot dog and a drink. This is really gonna open a huge can of worms.”
While funding will vary county to county, the millage is expected to generate at least $4.9 million from Macomb, $9.8 million from Oakland and $8.3 million from Wayne in its first year.
County voters will also be taxed following passage of the 0.04 mill Veterans’ Millage. Macomb Township voters approved the Veterans’ Millage with 9,127 votes, 4,459 of which were cast by absentee ballot. The county as a whole approve this measure with 100,790 votes, or 80 percent.