This past fall, residents of Ann Arbor, Michigan, voted to increase their property taxes to help pay for climate action.

“The community has a long history of caring about sustainability and environmental issues,” says Missy Stults, the sustainability and innovations director for Ann Arbor.

Three years ago, the city adopted an ambitious plan to eliminate its global warming pollution by 2030.

The plan includes fully transitioning to renewable energy, expanding public transit, installing EV chargers, weatherizing homes, and more.

Doing it all is expected to cost about $1 billion.

It may seem like a lot. But failing to invest in climate action could be even more expensive in the long run, as the costs of extreme weather and other climate impacts add up.

“Climate change is going to cost us, and it is either going to be an absolute cost because we’re paying for impacts, or it’s going to be an investment in the future that we want,” Stults says.

So to help move projects forward, voters were asked to authorize a 20-year tax that amounts to a hundred dollars a year for a home with a taxable value of $100,000.

More than 70% of residents voted yes, sending a strong signal that Ann Arbor residents want to invest in a cleaner future.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media