New election date for city millage

By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck voters will have just one millage proposal to consider in the Aug. 4 primary election.
Both the Hamtramck School District and the City of Hamtramck had planned to hold two separate millage proposals in August.
But as it turns out, the city missed the deadline to submit the wording of its millage in time for approval by state election officials.
So now the school district will be first up in seeking voter approval to raise property taxes.
The school district is holding a bond proposal that would add on 7 mills a year for the next 30 years. For the average homeowner, that would mean paying a little more than $200 extra a year in taxes.
The district wants to make numerous repairs to, and renovations on, its buildings, including the construction of a new, three-story school next to Kosciuszko Middle School.
The amount raised would be about $35 million over the course of life of the millage, which will be 30 years.
The city’s millage proposal will now be held as part of the Nov. 3 General Election, which also coincides with the presidential election.
The city is seeking an additional 10 mills on top of the existing half mill that is currently levied to help pay, in part, the city’s pension obligations for the police and fire departments.
The current half mill raises only a little over $100,000 a year for the pension. The actual cost is about $2.2 million a year.
If voters approved the millage, it would cover the total cost of the pension.
The city could lower the millage rate if for some reason pension costs go down in the coming years.
For the average homeowner, the millage increase would cost an extra $300 to $400 a year in property taxes. The new millage would expire in 20 years.
As it stands now, the city is projecting about a $2 million budget deficit for the new fiscal year, which starts on July 1. That’s because revenue collection has dried up since most businesses were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Posted June 26, 2020

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