By Fred Lewis
Plainfield Township Supervisor
We have had a number of questions regarding the upcoming election on May 2. The only issue on the ballot is regarding operating millages for the county, townships and ISD. The ballot wording is confusing if you are not familiar with the words that are used to describe theses millages.
Many of us have never heard of “allocated millage” and we don’t know how it affects our taxes for our property. We know the words taxable value, assessed value, operating millage and special assessments, but allocated millage is a new one.
We know that to figure out how much our taxes are that we take our taxable value times any operating millage(i.e.fire, roads, MFR), add these up and add any special assessments(i.e. waste, weed control, gypsy moth) to get the total.
All of the millages that we pay are renewed by the voters every two to four years, depending on the ballot language of the last vote. The only ones we never see on a ballot for renewal are the county operating, township operating and the Intermediate School District operating millage. These millages are established in law as ongoing and are not required to be renewed.
However the millage rate was established or “apportioned” long ago as 4.50 mils for county operating, 1.00 mils for township operating and .25 mils for ISD operating for a total of 5.75 mils, the maximum allowable “apportioned” millage for our county is 8.75 mils. The only way to change or increase the “apportioned” millage is by a vote to raise the total.
That is what this vote would do, is raise the cap by 1.00 mils from 5.75 mils to 6.75 mils and change the “apportionment to 5.5 mils to the county and leave the township and ISD at their current rate of 1.00 and .25 respectively. The other change this would make is to reset all three millages to these rates for the 2024 taxes, since all of these rates have been reduced over the years by the Headly Amendment.
Bottom line is this: For a property valued at $100,000(True Cash Value) and taxed on $50,000 (Taxable Value) this change would add approximately $100 to your tax bill in 2024 split between your winter and summer tax bills with about $80 to the county, $15 to the township and $5 to the ISD. Whew, that was a lot to take in.
On to more natural matters, Spring has sprung and we have a period now before the leaves come on the trees that can be very dangerous for grass fires. Please do not burn unless you have a fire ring or a pit that is cleared of any debris. At one point last week our fire fighters were averaging 2 to 3 grass fire per day. All preventable, so please be careful.
Also, I do want to take a minute to again thank these brave men and women who protect our community at some of our worst times when dealing with a loss of homes and possessions. They do their jobs and wearily leave the scene to return to their normal lives and go on about heir business until the next alarm calls. These are the real superpeople, leading unassuming lives until called to risk their own for others. THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS.
The new Michigan State Police Hale Detachment is not a manned office. Their offices in our community provide a location for office procedures, report writing, statement recording, scheduled meetings and equipment changeout. You may not be allowed in without an appointment. If you need immediate assistance call 911 and they will direct you or for an appointment call the West Branch MSP desk at (989) 345-0956.
The waste site is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 AM through 4 PM and Sunday from 9 AM through 2 PM. We are open on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.
The Garden Club is still looking for anyone interested in assisting them in caring for our planters in the downtown but the person to call is now Kim Kocher(989-899-1066) or Bev Mason(989-305-8823) Again I want to thank these hard working volunteers for what they give to keep our community looking beautiful.
As always if you ever have any questions, comments or concerns regarding our community please contact me. I am in the office Monday – Friday 7:30 – 4:00 at 989-728-2811 or my cell at 989-984-7073 or by email email@example.com.