Connecting the County
Yet as a resident of and voter in Washtenaw County, Briere says, she would vote for a .5 mill tax if it were on the ballot. "I think that as a community we choose to pay taxes for things that benefit our neighbors, because by benefiting our neighbors the community itself improves," she says, "and that having adequate transit makes this community work better."
Other councilmembers are somewhat more tentative than Briere on a millage-even while being more supportive than Kunselman of the AATA plan. "Integrating jurisdictions with a robust transit system will service everyone throughout the county, and will in particular be a benefit to Ann Arbor," says councilmember Christopher Taylor. And yet, he adds, "I don't know that I would [support a .5 mill levy]. A variety of factors are involved. I might, when the time comes, take a position on it, but I don't know for sure."
The pragmatic politician has little reason to commit to a millage today anyway. Waiting for legislation to move through state government may seem foolhardy, but the package of transportation-related bills now before the state house has the potential to greatly impact the way transportation authorities in Michigan are funded.