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Dipping into Reserves No Longer an Option; Trustees to Ask for Tax Increase

Northville Township officials have been using reserve funds, but "the reality is reality" and a tax increase will be needed to avoid service cuts, township supervisor says.

Northville Township officials plan to ask voters to approve millage increases to support public safety and other services. (Patch file photo)
Northville Township officials plan to ask voters to approve millage increases to support public safety and other services. (Patch file photo)

Northville Township officials say reserves have been depleted and a tax increase will be necessary to avoid cuts in public safety.

In August, voters will be asked to approve an increase of up to 1.250 mills in the Public Safety and and .030000 mills in the Shared Service millage rates, currently at 5.0 and .0.4574 mills, respectively, the Observer & Eccentric reports. The Shared Services levy supports parks, recreation, senior and youth assistance programs.

Township Finance Director Marina Neuimaier said property tax revenue is declining and township officials have been dipping into reserves to avoid a tax increase. Expenses have been increasing, including fuel for the township’s emergency vehicles, which has jumped 50 percent in the past five years. Population has also increased, putting more demands on services.

More than $2 million has been taken from reserves to fund public safety operations, and $1 million has been taken from the Shared Services fund over the period.

Township Supervisor Robert Nix said he and his colleagues are committed to fiscal responsibility. “None of us, when we ran for election, ever wanted to have an increase,” he said. “But the reality is the reality.”

If the millage increases are approved, a resident’s tax bill could increase up to $1.55 per $1,000 taxable valuation. The owner of a $400,000 house would pay an additional $310 annually.

The overall millage rate for the township is 7.1074 and it would go to 8.6 under the proposed increases.

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