The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees has unanimously approved placing both a renewal and an increase in the township’s public safety millage on a Nov. 8 ballot to support the township’s public safety departments.
The Board of Trustees’ action came on Monday, June 6.
Township Trustee Steve Kaplan said the township board didn’t decide on the actual ballot language, the duration of the proposed renewal or the amount of the proposed millage increase. Those issues will be discussed at future meetings, beginning on Monday, June 27, he said.
The township’s current public safety millage is levied at the rate of 3.1378 mills.
A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. The owner of a township property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) currently pays $313.78 a year in property taxes for public safety services.
“This is a very important ballot initiative,” said West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste.
Renewing and increasing the public safety millage was a hot-button issue last August when the township board narrowly voted against ballot language for a five-year renewal of the current public safety millage and an additional public safety millage of 1.33 mills for 2010, followed by 2.0566 mills for four years, from 2011 to 2014.
The board also voted last July against ballot language seeking a renewal of 3.1378 mills and an increase of 2.0566 mills for 10 years before voters.
But, with the public safety millage set to expire at the end of this year, Kaplan said the township has no choice but to go before the voters.
“We have to determine the loss of revenues and costs,” he said. “Our goal is to maintain our police and fire (departments) and their response times at current levels. If an increase (in the millage) is not approved, there could be layoffs.”