On the Ballot: Farmington Residents to Vote on Millage Proposal

On the Ballot: Farmington Residents to Vote on Millage Proposal

(City of Farmington Press Release)

Farmington, MI –  Farmington residents will be asked to approve a millage proposal allowing City Council to levy up to an additional 3.0 mills in property taxes on November’s ballot. Farmington City Council unanimously supported placing the proposal on the ballot at its July 23, 2018 meeting.

At least half of any millage amount levied each year would have to be used for Capital Improvements, such as streets and sidewalks, water and sewer lines, parks and park restrooms, bridges, walking paths, bike paths, streetscapes and large apparatus like fire trucks.

The remainder of any amount levied would be available for General Operating expenditures. This includes public safety, public works, administration, recreation and culture, economic and community development and district court.

The millage could be levied beginning with the 2019 summer tax bill and the authority to levy would expire in 10 years.

According to city officials, if the entire amount were levied, the average taxpayer would pay $225 more per year, or $18.75 per month, based on an average home value of $190,000, an average state equalized value of $95,000, and an average taxable value of $75,000.

“Since 2007 during the Great Recession, the average resident’s tax bill has decreased by $548,” explained David Murphy, Farmington City Manager. “The City’s expenses are higher today than our revenues, even after 10 years of focused cuts to costs of staffing and benefits, and delays in making necessary repairs to our roads, sidewalks, city-owned buildings, and other infrastructure. During this period, the high level of city services has been maintained.”

Murphy said that over the next 5 years the City’s General Operating expenses will exceed revenues by an average of $450,000 per year. To cover that difference, the City will have to either alter the level of services provided or continue dipping into the its savings funds and, at that rate without the millage increase, that account would be depleted by 2023.

Two community forums were held by the City, one in April and one in May, to get community input regarding this proposal. Various options were presented to participants and the Council’s determination to place the proposed millage on the ballot was the result of that process.

More detailed information about the proposed millage can be found at the City’s website: www.farmgov.com/millage

Ballot Language is as follows:

Farmington City Charter Amendment Proposal 1 An  amendment  to  Section  9.1  of  the  City  Charter  to  add  Section  9.1(a)  to  authorize  the  levy  of  up  to  3.0  mills  ($3.00  for  eve ry  $1,000  of   taxable value) for municipal purposes, at least half of which (1.5 mills) must be used for capital improvement and capital projects, for a period  of 10 years, from 2019 to 2028. This amendment authorizes the annual levy of not to exceed 3.0 mills for 10 years.  Approval would increase the tax levy by up to 3.0 mills as new additional millage in excess of the limitation imposed by law, restoring a portion of the Charter millage authorization previously reduced  by  the  Headlee  Amendment.    If  levied,  3.0  mills  would  raise  approximately  $1,034,000  in  the  first  year  of  the  levy.    At least  half  (1.5  mills)   must be used for capital improvements or projects, such as infrastructure, parks and facilities, pathways, and large apparatus within the City. Shall this proposed amendment be adopted?

Election Day is Nov. 6, 2018.  Find more information on ballot proposals and candidates at Oakland County Clerk’s website, and Oakland County Times Election Page.

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