Commissioners approve ballot measures for August primary

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STANDISH — Arenac County voters will see four countywide millages on their ballots when they head to the polls in August — two renewals, a road repair millage and a Headlee override question.

Commissioners approved the ballot proposals during their April 15 meeting.

County Clerk Rick Rockwell said the two renewals that will go before voters are a 0.5-mill millage for ambulance services and a 3/4-mill millage for senior citizen services.

Rockwell said the ambulance millage, if approved, would be levied from 2015-2018 and raise about $278,000 per year, which would cover the cost of the county’s MMR contract.

“The contract with MMR is $246,000 per year,” he said.

According to Rockwell, the senior millage would raise about $417,209 if renewed, and it would be levied for six years starting in 2015 before expiring again.

While taxpayers are choosing whether or not to renew the ambulance and senior millages, the road repair ballot measure — 1 mill for five years beginning in 2014 — is a new proposal, Rockwell said. He said it would raise approximately $542,200.

“A portion of that is going back to the cities and villages,” he said.

Rockwell said about $97,000 of the monies generated from the road millage, if approved, would be disbursed to local units of government.

The final countywide ballot proposal going to voters this August is an override that would return the county’s fixed millage to its original amount, 5.2 mills. Currently, due to Headlee rollbacks, the county’s fixed millage is 4.9176 mills, Rockwell said. Returning to the original fixed millage amount would increase revenues by about $150,000, according to Rockwell, raising fixed millage revenues from $2,670,000 to $2.82 million.

The override, if approved, would expire in 2020, Rockwell said.

The Headlee Amendment of 1963 requires local governments to reduce millage rates if property tax revenue is greater than the rate of inflation. Once the rates are rolled back, they cannot be increased without voter approval.

One mill equals $1 per every $1,000 of taxable value on a property.

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