BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Like many communities, Bloomfield Township has been cutting costs to deal with a drop in tax revenues. So, a millage renewal that would continue to finance Fire, Police, and Public Safety protection for ten years is a big deal to many leaders there.
“If this doesn't pass, we’d probably be looking at somewhere between 60 and 70 positions that would have to be cut between the Police Department and Fire Department,“ said Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie.
Savoie told 7 Action News in a telephone interview that he's confident the renewal will be approved.
He explained that a recent Mitchell Research and Communications survey about the renewal showed 73-percent of voters polled would 'definitely' vote Yes or 'probably' vote Yes.
“The voters here in the community have a certain expectation from our public safety in terms of response time and protection," Savoie explained.
The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 17 th to put the renewal question on the August 7 ballot.
The current millage will expire in 2013.
The original millage was set at 2.5 mills. The millage renewal proposal calls for slightly less than that -- 2.3921 mills for ten years.
For homeowners, that comes out to about $2.39 for every $1000.00 of taxable value on their property.
The tax is expected to generate $7.41-million in the first year of the renewal. That would account for about a third of the township’s $24-million Public Safety budget.
The millage would generate about $700,000 less than the original millage because of the current taxable value.
"About two years ago, we went back tot he voters for a new millage of about 1.3 mills," explained Savoie. "We indicated that that money would go primarily to public safety and roads."
But he said the township has made significant cuts to make sure it can get through these tight times.
"The general administration employees have been on pay freezes for four years, and the union employees have been on pay freezes for about three years," said Savoie. "We have 25-to-30 fewer people working here than a few years ago. We changed all of the retirement plans for new hires from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan."
Savoie said those benefit changes saved Bloomfield Township about $1.6-million in premiums last year and are expected to save about $800,000 in premiums this year.
Here is the actual ballot language posted on Bloomfield Township’s web site:
Shall the Charter Township of Bloomfield be authorized to renew up to 2.3931 mills for a period of ten (10) years to finance continued Fire, Police and Public Safety protection commencing with the December 2013 levy? Approval of this proposal would permit a tax of $2.3931 per $1,000.00 of taxable value on all taxable property in the Township. This proposed millage is a renewal of previously authorized millage which expires in 2012. This millage will be subject to applicable constitutional tax limitation provisions at the time of levy, and will not exceed the above stated rate. It is estimated that this proposal will result in the authorization to collect $7,410,947 in the first year if approved and levied.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Political Headlines
Watch each of the speeches and sessions from the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. On-demand video from the conference sessions is provided by MiVote. INSIDE: View video