By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday, Feb. 10 to forward a motion to place the proposed County Operating Millage question on the November Presidential Election ballot to Thursday’s meeting for final approval.
The county’s Tax Limitation Advisory Committee decided in January to ask for a renewal of the county’s Operating Millage, which currently designates 5.555 mills for county operations, 1.0 mill to townships and .245 of a mill to the Shiawassee RESD.
The question of whether to include the question on the August or November ballot was decided primarily because of how many other local ballot questions will be included on the August ballot. The board expects to see questions from the MSU Extension office and the Shiawassee County Medical Care Facility, along with school bond questions on the August ballot.
While the number of casual – and sometimes uninformed – voters is normally higher during presidential elections, the board was comfortable with waiting until November. If the millage question were to fail in November, the county, township and RESD millages would then be set annually by a tax allocation board, which would not need voter approval to set the combined millage number anywhere from 4.33 to 9.8 mills. The current combined millage is 6.8 mills.
The proposed millage renewal would be levied indefinitely, but the board of commissioners or the voters would be able to request a new vote at any time in the future.