by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners began its Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11 with a moment of silence in honor of the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
“It’s been 18 years since it happened,” began Commissioner Brandon Marks, the Committee of the Whole chairperson. “It’s kind of hard to believe, but at 8:46 a.m. on this day 18 years ago, the north tower was struck. A few minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., the south tower was struck, and as we know, both the towers came down. At 9:37, just over a half hour later, the Pentagon was struck by a plane, and at 10:07, another half hour later, Flight 93 was taken down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Let’s have a moment of silence for those who lost their lives and for those who were affected in many ways.”
Following the moment of silence, the commissioners approved several agenda items to be forwarded on to the board’s Thursday, Sept. 12 meeting for final approval. Moved on to the Thursday agenda was a Shiawassee Council on Aging request for a levy increase and the board’s determination of the millage amounts the county will levy for 2019, and an agenda item to establish a Peacetime Veterans Fund.
The establishment of a Peacetime Veterans Fund (PTVF) would extend services to all qualifying indigent military veterans as provided in the Shiawassee County Veterans Affairs and Services’ recently amended Policies and Procedures. The PTVF would be funded from the Veterans Services Fund (Fund 298).
The board determined the tax rates for the Shiawassee Medical Care Facility, the MSU Extension, the VA 214 Fund and the Veteran Services Program would remain unchanged for 2019, with the maximum allowable being levied for each millage. The commissioners agreed to increase the Shiawassee Council on Aging levy from .43 mills to .46 mills, out of a possible levy rate of .50 mills, which was previously approved by voters.
If approved on Thursday, Sept. 12, the 2019 Medical Care Facility levy would be 1.9948 mills (out of a voter-approved 2.0 mills), the MSU Extension levy would be .0757 mills (out of a voter-approved .0760 mills), the VA 214 Fund levy would be 1.000 mills and the Veterans Services Program levy would be .1994 mills (out of a voter-approved .20 mills), provided no further Headlee Amendment adjustments are factored in.
Levy rates are rolled back due to the Headlee Amendment, which reduces tax rates as the taxable valuation of the county’s home values decline.