2012-07-28 / Top News

Countywide Millage Would Collect Funds, Return Them To Each Community

Voters in the primary election Tuesday, August 7, will decide whether to support a countywide tax levy of 0.25 mill, collected by the county and redistributed to each township or city for economic enhancement. The millage would generate $226,050.82 in the first of its three years. Disbursement would be equal to the tax generated by each municipality.

If county voters approve the millage, all the units will have to collect the tax, even if voters in a particular unit reject it.

County Commissioner Jim Hill, the architect of this plan, said 100% of the money collected in each township or city would be returned to the municipality that generated the funds. If they want, townships could partner with their neighbors to form “economic zones” and pursue mutually beneficial goals by pooling their money.

The county board approved this plan as an idea that would appeal to residents on the eastern and western ends of the county, who may be concerned that a centralized economic development office would funnel their funds to the county seat at St. Ignace and provide little direct benefit back to the townships.

Mr. Hill has traveled to each township and city in the county to present this plan to officials. He told them that an agreement on how the funds are to be spent will be required before the funds are released, but nearly anything that could boost the municipality’s economy would qualify as “economic enhancement.”

Some officials have suggested that they could simply levy their own millage and spend it on whatever the citizens want.

A 0.25 millage would levy 25¢ for each $1,000 in taxable value.

County municipalities would receive the following amounts in the first year of the levy, if the proposal is passed:

City of Mackinac Island, $50,583; Clark Township, $47,272; Moran Township, $21,512; City of St. Ignace, $21,509; Garfield Township, $21,075; Portage Township, $17,485; Newton Township, $11,513; Brevort Township, $7,411; Bois Blanc Township, $7,393; St. Ignace Township, $7,279; Marquette Township, $7,242; Hudson Township, $3,620; Hendricks Township, $2,158.

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