CHICAGO - Voters in the Detroit area will decide on a slew of tax increases in next week's primary election, including a measure to raise money for the struggling Detroit Institute of Arts.

Most of the proposed tax increases would raise money for police and fire operations, while several municipalities are asking for tax increases for operating costs. Other proposals would raise money for libraries and schools.

Only a handful of bond proposals will appear on the ballot.

Voters in Detroit's three surrounding counties, Oakland, Wayne and Macomb, will consider a millage increase that would raise $23 million annually for the popular but long-struggling DIA, which has an annual budget of around $25 million.

Museum officials have said the facility could close if the measure is defeated.

The museum has promised free admission to residents of the counties that approve the increase, as well as longer hours and more outreach programs. The property tax increase would last 10 years.

Voters in Wayne County will be asked to renew a millage for the county's jail to generate $38 million of property tax revenue in 2012. Proceeds would be used to renovate facilities and to build a new work and training facility for juvenile offenders.

In Oakland County, voters will consider renewing a millage increase that would raise money on the transportation system. The SMART system is one of the busiest bus routes and is considered important to southeast Michigan's effort to build a larger regional transportation system.

The cities of Berkeley, Livonia, Garden City, Grosse Isle and River Rouge are asking for tax increases for operating funds.

The city of Riverview is asking voters to approve a $32 million bond proposal for its high and middle schools. The Hazel Park School District is asking for $8 million of bonds bond and several smaller bond requests.

Looking ahead at the November ballot, the Detroit City Council Tuesday called a special session for next week to meet with top police officials and consider whether to allow on the ballot a property tax increase that would fund the city's police officers. The measure would raise $56 million annually for the next five years.

The tax increase would pay for the hiring of 500 additional officers for the police force, which now has 2,600. Mayor Dave Bing recently approved a 10% pay cut to public safety workers, and the city's 2013 budget includes cutting nearly 400 officers from the force.

It needs to be approved by Aug. 28 to make it on the November ballot.

The Ann Arbor District Library will ask voters to approve a $65 million bond proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot. Proceeds will be used to build a new library in downtown Ann Arbor.

 

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