ANN ARBOR, MI-Ann Arbor now has an anti-urban sprawl greenbelt protection law in place, after about two thirds of voters in the city approved a special 30-year half-million tax.

The passage of Proposal B was called a “huge victory for Ann Arbor,” by Mayor John Hieftje. Proposal B will cost taxpayers 50 cents on every $1,000 of taxable property value. The tax would replace an existing parks acquisition tax that was set to expire in 2004.

The new tax will generate an estimated $84 million. The plan calls for one-third of the money to be used for city parkland acquisition; the rest would be used to help buy development rights on up to 10,000 acres of farmland outside the city.

Opponents to the measure questioned where new high-density housing would go, and whether the greenbelt would direct development to areas with water and sewer, or cause it to leapfrog to even less developed areas beyond the greenbelt.

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