ELECTION 2014: Michigan locales cast ballots on road issues

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, August 08, 2014

Voters in communities covering more than a dozen counties across Michigan cast primary ballots Tuesday, Aug. 5, on efforts to aid local governments pay for needed road work.

The state provided a shot in the arm for local governments this spring by approving $215 million for local road repairs following harsh winter weather.

This week’s elections were an attempt to raise additional revenue for transportation projects. Below are the results of transportation questions on many local ballots.

Allegan County ballots included two questions on whether to renew 1-mill levies to benefit roads around the county. Each renewal in the county located south of Grand Rapids, Mich., amounts to 10 cents per $100 of taxable valuation.

The mill rate is the rate at which property taxes are determined. Every person who owns real estate is required to pay property taxes.

Voters passed both three-year extensions that are expected to generate a total of $242,058 in the first year for road repairs and resurfacing countywide.

Multiple Allegan County townships also cast ballots on road tax. They include:

  • Dorr Township: Rejected a 2.75-mill road tax for six years. It was expected to raise $560,000 in the first year.
  • Gun Plain Township: Increased road tax by 2 mills for 10 years. It is expected to raise $400, in the first year.
  • Heath Township: Renewed a 2.5-mill road tax for five years. It is expected to raise $264,413 in the first year.
  • Laketown Township: Renewed a 2-mill tax to benefit roads and other projects for two years. It is expected to raise $688,622 in the first year.
  • Otsego Township: Increased road tax by 1.5 mills for five years. It is expected to raise $234,929 in the first year.
  • Overisel Township: Renewed a 2-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $250,000 in the first year.
  • Valley Township: Increased road tax by 2 mills for four years. It is expected to raise $135,912 in the first year.
  • Watson Township: Renewed a 2-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $113,292 in the first year.


In neighboring Ottawa County, voters in the townships of Jamestown and Olive decided in favor of renewing millages. Jamestown voters renewed a 1.5-mill road tax for two years. It is expected to raise $264,000 in the first year. Voters in Olive Township renewed a 2-mill road tax for four years. The tax is estimated to raise $321,385 in the first year.

Located between Grand Rapids and Lansing, voters in Ionia County narrowly defeated a plan to fix roads and bridges via a 2-mill road tax. By a margin of 56 votes out of 6,138 votes cast, voters rejected a plan to raise $18.6 million over six years.

Each township in the county stood to receive one-half mills from the revenue generated. Cities and villages were also in line to divvy $6.6 million for road work.

In nearby Saginaw County, multiple locales decided on transportation levies. They include:

  • Albee Township: Approved a 1-mill road tax for 10 years. It is expected to raise $57,228 in the first year.
  • Marion Township: Renewed a 3-mill road tax for 10 years. It is expected to raise $55,615 in the first year.
  • Richland Township: Approved a 2-mill road tax for 10 years. It is expected to raise $280,000 in the first year.


Voters in two Livingston County townships decided on road questions. They are:

  • Cohoctah Township: Renewed a 1.5-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $151,500 in the first year.
  • Howell Township: Renewed a 0.9496-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $283,000 in the first year.


In adjoining Jackson County, voters in Concord Township approved the renewal of a four-year, 0.9435-mill road tax. It is expected to raise $69,056 in the first year.

Neighboring to the west, voters in two Calhoun County townships decided on road taxes. They are:

  • Clarence Township: Renewed a 5-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $35,000 in the first year.
  • Marengo Township: Approved a 1-mill road tax for five years. It is expected to raise $72,978 in the first year.


In bordering Eaton County, voters in Charlotte Township rejected a 2.35-mill road tax increase for five years.

An Ingham County locale approved a millage increase. Specifically, Lansing Township voters approved a 0.5-mill road tax for 10 years. It is expected to raise $133,000 in the first year.

Two Clinton County townships decided on road taxes. They are:

  • Greenbush Township: Rejected a 3-mill road tax for four years. It was expected to raise $200,839 in the first year.
  • Bengal Township: Renewed a 3.25-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $151,235 in the first year.

Other townships in the region to decide on road questions include:

  • Medina Township in Lenawee County: Renewed a 1.9724-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $88,214 in the first year.
  • Three Oaks Township in Berrien County: Renewed a 1-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $30,250 in the first year.


In Cheboygan County, voters throughout the county decided in favor of a 1-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $1.3 million in the first year. Funds collected in the city cities of Cheboygan, Mackinaw City and the Village of Wolverine will keep the revenue. Other money collected will be applied for improvements and resurfacing other roads throughout the county.

Also in the county, multiple townships decided on local road levies. They are:

  • Aloha Township: Renewed a 1-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $51,000 in the first year.
  • Nunda Township: Renewed a 1.25-mill road tax for four years. It is expected to raise $51,606 in the first year.
  • Wilmot Township: Renewed a 1.5-mill road tax for six years. It is expected to raise $31,511 in the first year.


Voters in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties approved increasing a 0.59-mill levy to 1 mill for three years. The revenue will benefit the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation bus system.

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