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Oakland County Exec Calls On Voters To Support DIA

DETROIT (WWJ) - Voters in Oakland County will decide this August on a property tax to support the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is encouraging residents to support it.

"So the tax would have been 19 bucks on the average home sold last year. You know, that's a bad day at Starbucks," Patterson said to laughter from the audience at Friday's Pancake & Politics panel discussion.

"I think the tax will fly.  I think people understand appreciate. And then when you get, if the tax passes ... the communities that pass it get free admission to the DIA, so you're gonna  get it back your first trip. So, I think it's gonna pass overwhelmingly."

The proposal will also appear on the ballot in Wayne and Macomb counties.

If the measure passes in all three counties, it's expected to raise $20 million to $23 million for the museum, with about $11 million of that coming from Oakland.

The DIA has already restructured with the loss of state support, which amounted to 70 percent of the institution's budget until cuts began in the early 1990s.   It cut about 20 percent from its budget last year.

Currently, a majority of the DIA's funding comes from individuals, corporations and foundations.

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