Emma Roeder
United Way of Washtenaw County /

We are officially in the midst of tax season.  For many Washtenaw County residents, it is stressful, especially for those who have struggled financially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Still, volunteers working at the United Way of Washtenaw County's VITA program are ready to provide tax advice and assistance.  VITA program manager Emma Roeder joined WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about the program's current efforts on this week's "Washtenaw United."

There were a number of ballot proposals decided on Tuesday, including two countywide measures. All of them passed. 

Lisa Barry

Michigan and the federal government have both pushed the deadline for filing taxes this year back to July, but county officials are not too concerned that change will cause much of a disruption locally.

A one-mill tax renewal and Headlee override request from Washtenaw Community College won overwhelming voter approval in yesterday's election.  The measure passed with more than 77% approval.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry has details.

David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

This fall, the Americorps program will celebrate its 25th anniversary.  Washtenaw County has a robust Americorps program.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," you'll meet two members who are taking the service work component of the program and building personal and professional growth into something of benefit to the greater community.  WEMU's David Fair welcomes current Americorps member Tien Holmes and Americorps alumnus Brian Rakovitis to talk about the paths they're forging.  

Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

As tax season gets closer, managing your finances can be challenging.  Because of this, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has partnered with local investment firm Revalue for an event called "Show Me the Money Day," which will offer free financial advice to any interested resident.  UWWC financial stability specialist Tien Holmes and Revalue CEO Angela Barbash join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about personal finances, financial literacy, and the resources to plan for the future on this week's "Washtenaw United."

Electric Car
Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine /

By all accounts, electric vehicles are the future.  Right now, EV’s comprise a small percentage of the automotive marketplace.  A new study from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor shows the electric vehicles owners are paying far more in taxes and fees and that can serve as a disincentive to purchase.  The center’s Charles Griffith joined WEMU’s David Fair for this week’s "Issues of the Environment" to share the study’s findings and discuss the need to create policy that will create tax parity for EV vehicles. 

United Way of Washtenaw County
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

The end of the year is approaching, which means it's time to start thinking about filing your tax returns.  Such a task can be daunting, which is why the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) developed the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this program with UWWC senior community manager Amanda Reel and Bob Mull, who was UWWC's 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

The Whitmore Lake School District won voter approval for a 10-year, one-mill tax to fund recreation services on Tuesday.  As 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair reports, the tax question just barely got by.

The Chelsea District Library received nearly 66-percent support from voters in winning approval of a tax measure on Tuesday.  As 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair reports, the money generated with the 10-year renewal will fund about 80-percent of library operations.

Michigan Supreme Court
Wikipedia Media Commons /

The Michigan Supreme Court will take another look at whether it’s ever OK for taxpayer dollars to go to private or parochial schools.  As Rick Pluta reports, the court is responding to a challenge against state budgets.

David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Today is Tax Day.  As many people rush to file their returns, there are a few who can't afford to have someone file their returns for them.  That's why the United Way of Washtenaw County formed the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  UWWC representatives Andrew Johnson and Patrick Helman talk all about the VITA program with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Washtenaw United."

Jeff Irwin
Michigan House Democrats /

18th District State Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) is looking to renew a debate in the state Legislature on a tax policy that helps working poor people keep more of their earnings.

Gretchen Whitmer
Ford School of Public Policy /

Michigan’s new governor will start in January.  But Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer faces an adversarial state Legislature, which could impact what Whitmer is able to accomplish.

Voters in Superior Township have approved tax increases for both police and fire services.

A 10-year, 1-mill tax levy has won approval in the Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

A tax renewal for police services and a tax increase for fire services have been approved by Dexter Township voters.

An expiring fire protection services measure in Manchester Township will be extended through 2023.  Just under 63-percent of voters were in favor of restoring a previously approved .65 mill tax.

Two measures will amend the charter in Barton Hills Village.

A 5-year, 1.5 mill tax renewal to continue support for fire and police services passed with nearly 77-percent of the vote in York Township.

Voters in Ypsilanti Township will be among those hitting the ballot boxes next Tuesday, May 8th.  As WEMU's Taylor Pinson reports, the township is asking voters to approve a new millage on to help pay for the community's fire department.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Rick Snyder called for fiscal responsibility during his final State of the State address.  This could clash with the priorities of the state lawmakers.

The Ann Arbor Public Schools will be among those putting forth a ballot question in May.  The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority will put a question before voters in August.  There are ways to get involved beyond voting.  Those are a few of the issues WEMU's David Fair and CivCity Initiative executive director Mary Morgan cover in this weeks edition of Civic Matters.

Michigan Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons /

The state Legislature went over the governor’s head Wednesday.  It approved a veto override – something that hasn’t happened in Michigan since 2002.

Tax Form
Ken Teegardin /

The Legislature is once again at odds with the governor.  This time, it’s over what to do about the new federal tax law.

Pixabay /

The state got an idea Thursday of how much money it could have for the next couple of years. 

Michigan Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons /

The Legislature is back in session for 2018, and an early priority is dealing with taxes.  Talks are underway to figure out how to make sure the federal tax overhaul doesn’t cause a spike in state income taxes.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a plan to offset higher costs that could be forced on Michigan taxpayers as a result of the federal tax overhaul.  The biggest issue is the elimination of the federal personal exemption.

Tax Form
Ken Teegardin /

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration is looking at making changes to state tax laws early in 2018.  That’s after it discovered the new federal tax law could have an impact on Michigan resident’s wallets. 

Ann Arbor City Council and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meet this week and each will have discussions, and potentially take action, on the controversial Broadway development proposal.  That's just one of many topics covered by WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative in this week's edition of "Civic Matters."