derek dobies

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jackson voters face a controversial ballot question next week.

They will decide Tuesday if they want to pay a new fee to have their leaves collected.

In 2011, the Jackson City Council created a fee to pay for leaf pick up, street cleaning and other things needed to be done to keep the city’s storm drains clear of debris. The fee raised over $1 million annually. 

But Jackson County government and local businessmen took the city to court.      

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jackson residents may decide in August if they are willing to pay a special tax to clean up their city streets.

Last year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the city of Jackson’s storm water fee was actually an illegal tax. The fee generated about a million dollars a year for street cleaning and leaf pickup programs which without funding the city cancelled last year.

Councilman Derek Dobies says that meant homeowners couldn’t just sweep their leaves into the street they had to dispose of the leaves themselves.