BERKLEY, Mich. (WXYZ) -
The city of Berkley is asking voters to approve a Municipal Operation, Police and Fire Millage Proposal. It’s also described as a “Headlee Override” property tax election.
The proposal asks voters to approve a 3 mill increase on their property taxes. The revenue raised from this initiative will support operating costs for the city of Berkley. City officials say a majority “yes” vote will enable the City to be “financially secure enough to provide the services our residents enjoy and continue the quality of life we have all come to value,” according to the city's website.
The revenue will be used for municipal operations including public safety (Police and Fire), the library, parks, public works and sanitation services. Some of the services in jeopardy if the proposal does not pass include curb-side leaf pickup, brush pickup, tree trimming, minor street repairs and code enforcement.
If approved, the new millage would be included in the 2013 summer property tax bills. The city estimates the average homeowner will see a $175 increase in the annual tax bill.
A committee was formed and given the task of examining the finances of Berkley and looking at the cost-cutting measures that have been implemented over the past five to 10 years. The committee then determined that the mill increase was appropriate at this time.
Tim Gaudet is a Citizen Advisory Committee member. “This is a great town. I really like this community and I wanted to be more involved,” said Gaudet. He said he wanted to learn more about the measure and be a part of it.
Fifteen members were appointed by the City Council and the Mayor. The committee recommended that the City Council propose the increase of 3 mills. They believe the increase is warranted in order to maintain the current level of services within the city.
According to the city’s website, property taxes have not increased in the city of Berkley since 1959. The city says it’s asking for the increase as a result of the struggling economy.
The committee’s full report is available here
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