In 2006, the city spent thousands of dollars to hire experts that estimated the city would collect $4.1 million per year with a new city income tax. Five years later, a new set of very expensive experts said that revenue would be far less, and admitted that the last set of “experts” made “mistakes.” Neither number is likely to be accurate, due to widely discrepant assumptions and methodology.
These experts had to guess how many employees and business work in the city or would be subject to the income tax. Many businesses operate out of more than one office, and it is a simple matter to move the official address outside the city, to escape the city income tax. For plumbers, electricians, lawn-service providers, accountants, and more, all it takes is a change of address to owe nothing to the City of Ypsilanti.
All of this makes it impossible to estimate the potential revenue from a city income tax, and shows how wise the voters were to reject this proposal in 2007.