Metro Detroit public transit voting guide
Voters throughout the region will see transit tax proposals on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Why it matters: Passage of the proposals is crucial to continued and expanded bus service throughout metro Detroit.
What's happening: The Oakland County measure stands out. It would close gaps in service in places like Novi and Rochester, which affect riders traveling from Detroit, often for work.
What they're saying: "Even if you're not right next to a fixed route, there are going to be increased services throughout the county under this proposal that would affect you," Oakland County Executive David Coulter said last week at a transit panel.
The other side: Opponents criticize hazy expansion plans that will not benefit all Oakland residents proportionally.
- "This is a last-minute deal — a tax grab — without any plan," Holly Township Supervisor George Kullis told the Detroit News.
What's more: Wayne and Macomb County voters also are being asked to approve transit taxes.
- Wayne County communities outside of Detroit are being asked to approve the millage, according to the News. The city's transportation department has its own improvement plans.
Here are breakdowns of the proposals:
Oakland: A 10-year, .95 mill countywide tax would maintain existing SMART services, fund other transit providers and generate $66 million in the first year.
- That translates to a $3.96 per month increase to taxpayers for every $100,000 in home value.
- The millage will add more reservation-based rides designed for seniors and those with disabilities and veterans, such as SMART's curb-to-curb connector rides.
- The intrigue: Oakland County commissioners will oversee tax revenue spending, which will be independently audited.
Wayne: A four-year, .994 mill tax renewal would maintain SMART services and raise about $20 million in its first year.
- That translates to $4.14 per month for every $100,000 in home value.
Macomb: A five-year, .95 mill tax renewal to continue SMART services and raise about $31 million in its first year.
- That translates to $3.96 per month for every $100,000 in home value.
- Of note: A 2018 renewal passed by only 39 votes.
Worthy of your time: Local advocacy group Transportation Riders United's voter guide.
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