Michigan’s local ballots include street, bus funding questions

| Thursday, November 03, 2011

Some local ballots for next week’s election in Michigan will include questions about road and street repair, as well as funding for countywide bus systems.

Hayes Township in Charlevoix County is asking voters Tuesday, Nov. 8, to decide whether they are willing to pay more for better roads.

The ballot measure seeks to renew a road millage that expired in December 2010. Voters will decide whether to reestablish collection of 1 mill, which amounts to $1 per $1,000 of taxable value of a home, for five years. The revenue will be used for road repairs and maintenance in the township.

If approved, it is estimated the millage would amount to $194,226 a year.

In Bay County, voters in the community of Bay City can cast ballots on whether to increase the current street levy by a rate of $2 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The five-year, 2-mill tax increase would be applied for local street reconstruction and repair.

If given the go-ahead by voters, the increase is expected to raise $1.14 million annually during the five years.

In nearby Montcalm County, most voters will be able to decide on their own levy. Voters throughout the county, except for the city of Greenville, can cast ballots on a 0.3 mill increase to pay for a countywide bus system.

County estimates put revenue raised through the increase at $434,890.

Greenville voters are excluded because the city already has a bus system, which they pay a special tax to support.

Voters in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties voters also will cast ballots on whether to continue to support bus service. The county’s ballots include a question on whether to renew the current transportation levy at 0.3454 mills for five years, which amounts to about 35 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

An estimated $2.3 million a year would be earned to support the Bay Area Transportation Authority. The bus service relies on the mill rate for one-third of its overall budget.

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