DIA Hopes For New Tax To Keep Doors Open

DETROIT (WWJ) –  The Detroit Institute of Art is currently facing a grim financial situation that is threatening to close its doors. The 85-year-old institution is in need of a millage approval to help keep things running smoothly.

Early suggestions call for a millage approval of .2 in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties that would raise $23 million a year for the DIA.

Detroit City Councilmen Gary Brown is suggesting that everyone living in the region and not just Detroiters, do their part to help save one of Detroit’s most historic landmarks.

“The DIA may be in the city of Detroit, we may own it, but it’s the region’s DIA,” Brown said.

He also told WWJ that if residents from Detroit to Pontiac pass the millage, it would cost each house hold only about $20 each year.

Councilman Brown is currently touring several cities outside Detroit to help spread awareness of the need for the approval. Brown believes informing much of the region of the DIA’s financial problems is important in bringing the DIA back to its feet.

“There has to be a campaign that goes on to the region… talking about the importance of supporting our cultural institutions, not only the DIA, but the zoo, the historical museum and the African-American museum,” he said.

Brown believes that the DIA will get the planned millage tax on the ballot sometime in November.

  • Mark White

    Other museums use the financial value of their collections in supporting their operations, and Detroit’s DIA collection — which is worth many, many billions of dollars — can support its operations too. The contractor running the DIA for Detroit — the Founders Society — is trying to make taxpayers pay their salaries even though they got the contract by promising to raise their salaries from donors. Detroit should bring in a contractor that knows how to manage these assets financially as well as culturally. A competent asset manager could pay Detroit tens of millions of dollars a year over and above the expenses of running the DIA, letting Detroit better support the arts, sciences and humanities as well as essential public safety services.

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