Royal Oak voters will decide on public safety millage

ROYAL OAK (WXYZ) - The city of Royal Oak hopes to turn around its trend of cutting staff by asking voters to pay more in taxes.

On November 6, voters will decide the fate of a public safety millage of 3.975 mills with a five year sunset clause. The money would go toward police, fire and emergency medical services.

The city says it has cut its full-time work staff by 25 percent over the last eight years, but if the millage passes, it would help maintain staffing levels. Current employees are also seeing cuts to their salary. In June, police officers agreed to a contract that includes pay cuts and healthcare benefit concessions.

While the millage has a sunset clause, City Manager Donald Johnson has said he does not believe the overall problem can be fixed by a short term tax increase. In a letter to the mayor and city commission, he said he believes the millage would need to be renewed.

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