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Arts & Life

Ann Arbor votes down public art tax, new library

The Ann Arbor District Library wants a new building downtown.
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Voters in Ann Arbor rejected taxes for public art and a new downtown library. 

People feel like they already pay a lot of property taxes in Ann Arbor.  And while they’re proud of their reputation as a cultured community, they just weren't willing to tack on a couple new millages.

One would have paid for public art. The city's currently funding art installations out of the budget for capital projects. Even some city officials say it's a weird, inflexible system. 

And voters also turned down a $65 million rebuild of the downtown library.

The library's board says the building is overcrowded and building a new one would cost just a little more than renovations.  

But opponents say the project was too expensive and the plans were too vague.

One thing voters did approve: extending a tax for the city's parks, which makes up about half the parks' budget.