by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners decided the 2018 county millage rates earlier in September, with the agenda item receiving unanimous approval during the Board’s Thursday, Sept. 13 meeting.
The Board elected to levy the maximum tax rate for the Shiawassee Medical Care Facility, the MSU Extension and the VA 214 Fund, but not for the Shiawassee Council on Aging. Each millage has been rolled back due to the Headlee Amendment, so the maximum rate the county can collect has been reduced from the original voter-approved rates. Per the Headlee Amendment, the maximum tax rate decreases as the taxable valuation of the county’s residential property declines.
The Board decided to levy only .43 mills of a possible .50 mills for the Shiawassee Council on Aging. For the Medical Care Facility, the county will levy the maximum 1.9948 mills, down from the originally-approved 2.0 mills. For the MSU Extension, the county will levy the maximum .0757 mills, down from .0760 mills. The millage rate for the VA 214 Fund was again set at the maximum rate of .1000 mills.
“The Shiawassee Council on Aging operates under budget, and they have told us they will not need to levy their full amount this year, but besides that, we will need to levy the maximum amounts,” explained Commissioner and Economic & Physical Development Chairman Jeremy Root on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The Commissioners also decided on Sept. 13 to levy the maximum for the county’s Veterans Services program. Shiawassee County voters will be asked to approve the county’s Veterans Services program millage rate of 2.0 mills in the November midterm election, but if the proposal is approved, the county will levy the maximum rate of 1.994 mills, which is, again, rolled back due to the Headlee Amendment.
We will need to levy the maximum for the veterans this year,” Root shared on Sept. 12. “The VA office has a lot going on. We are trying to move the office from the third floor of the Surbeck building, they are increasing services and they are increasing staff hours, with a few people moving from part time to full time.”
The County of Shiawassee County Veterans Services Program Proposal will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as follows: For the sole purpose of funding a County Veterans Affairs Service program to provide services to Shiawassee County Veterans of Active, United States Military service and their dependents, shall the constitutional limitation on general ad valorem taxes which may be assessed in any one year upon all property within the County of Shiawassee, Michigan, may be increased by up to a maximum of an additional 0.20 mills ($0.20 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the period of five years from 2018 through 2023, inclusive. If approved and levied in full, this millage will raise an estimated $334,806 for the County Veterans Affairs program in the first calendar year of the levy. As required by law, a portion of the millage may also be disbursed to the Downtown Development Authorities of the cities of Corunna, Durand, Laingsburg and Owosso, the villages of Lennon, Morrice, New Lothrop and Vernon, and the Brownfield Authorities of Owosso Township and the city of Owosso.