ELECTION 2014: Detroit-area, southern Michigan voters to decide on road funds

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, September 29, 2014

Some embattled local roads in the Detroit area could soon get a boost. During the upcoming fall election on Nov. 4, voters in communities throughout southeast and southern Michigan will decide on funding for roads and bridges.

In Oakland County, voters in the city of Southfield will decide whether to approve a $99 million tax bond for road a street improvements. If approved, the mill rate would be set at 2.58 mills in 2015, and an estimated 2.5 mills through 2026.

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

Elsewhere in Oakland County, four communities will cast ballots on road tax. They are:

  • Addison: whether to authorize a 0.25-mill road tax for five years. It is expected to raise $70,000 in the first year for the North Oakland Transportation Authority.
  • Farmington: would authorize a 1.45-mill rate for 10 years. The revenue would be used to benefit improvements, rehabilitation, repair and maintenance of roads in the city.
  • Farmington Hills: would permit a 2-mill rate for 10 years to benefit roads and streets throughout the city. It is estimated to raise $6.1 million in the first year.
  • Royal Oak: whether to authorize a 2.5-mill rate for 10 years. It is intended to defray the costs for maintaining, repairing and reconstructing roads in the city.


In neighboring Wayne County, voters in the city of Melvindale will decide whether to approve a $6 million tax bond for roads. If approved, the mill rate would be set at 7.07 mills in 2015, and an estimated 7.08 mills through 2020.

Voters in three Livingston County townships will also decide on road levies. They are:

  • Hamburg Township: whether to authorize a 2-mill road tax through 2018 and 1-mill rate from 2019-2028 for local primary county roads. It is expected to raise $1.8 million in the first year.
  • Hartland Township: would authorize a 1.5-mill rate for 10 years to aid road maintenance and improvements. It is expected to raise about $873,000 in the first year.
  • Iosco Township: whether to authorize a 1.41-mill rate for five years for road maintenance and improvements. It is expected to raise $178,000 in the first year.


Across the county line in Washtenaw County, ballots in Manchester Township will include a question about whether to renew a 0.35-mill road tax for five years. The tax is estimated to raise $61,981 in the first year.

Three communities in Macomb County will also include ballots questions to benefit roads. They include:

  • Harrison Township: whether to increase the tax rate by 1.5 mills for 20 years for such purposes as road and street repairs. The levy is estimated to raise $1.26 million in the first year.
  • Memphis: whether to increase the road levy by 2 mills to improve, construct and/or repair roads, highways, streets and/or bridges. The tax is estimated to raise $45,269 in the first year.
  • St. Clair Shores: whether to increase the road tax from 0.983 mills to 1.25 mills for five years. The tax rate is estimated to raise $1.69 million in the first year.


Lapeer County voters will also decide on funding for roads and bridges. Specifically, county ballots will include a question about whether to increase the levy rate by 1.85 mills for six years. It is estimated to raise about $4.86 million in the first year.

Voters in three Lenawee County locales will cast ballots on issues that include local road funding. They include:

  • Adrian Township: whether to approve $5 million in bonds to be used mostly for improving, replacing, resurfacing and reconstructing streets. The levy rate would be set at 2.9 mills for 2015, and 2.88 mills through 2024.
  • Ridgeway Township: whether to renew the 1-mill rate for four years to benefit roads and bridges. It is estimated to raise $57,505 in the first year.
  • Tecumseh: whether to authorize up to $2.25 million in bonds to pay for installing, improving, replacing and reconstructing streets and sidewalks. If approved, the mill rate would be set at 1.9965 mills in 2015, and at 2.0001 mills through 2019.


Communities throughout southern Michigan will also decide on road levies.

Coldwater, Mich., voters in Branch County will cast ballots on issues that include authorizing $5.2 million in bonds for 11 years. The revenue would be used for such purposes that include street work. The levy would be set at 1.98 mills for 2015, and at 1.82 mills through 2024.

Ballots in three Berrien County communities will include questions on road levies. They are:

  • Berrien Township: whether to charge a 0.36-mill rate for four years to maintain and repair roads. It is estimated to raise $90,000 in the first year. 
  • Sodus Township: whether to renew a 2-mill levy for four years to fix roads. It is estimated to raise $142,087 in the first year.
  • Weesaw Township: whether to authorize a 1-mill levy for two years to pay for roadwork. It is estimated to raise $77,474 in the first year.


Two locales in Calhoun County will also decide on road mills. They are:

  • Pennfield Charter Township: whether to authorize borrowing $5 million in bonds for county roads in the township. The mill rate would be set at 2.7292 mills for 2015, and increase to 2.8211 through 2025.
  • Sheridan Township: would authorize increasing the mill rate by 1 mill for five years to pay for road work. It is estimated to raise $45,730 in the first year.


Elsewhere, ballots in three Kalamazoo County townships will include questions about road taxes. They are:

  • Charlestown Township: whether to increase the levy by 1 mill for five years to pay for road work. It is estimated to raise $103,089 in the first year.
  • Climax Township: whether to increase the levy by 1 mill for 10 years for road work. It is estimated to raise $65,000 in the first year.
  • Comstock Township: whether to increase the levy by 1.15 mills for 10 years for road work. It is estimated to raise $512,625 in the first year.


Voters in Williamstown Township in Ingham County will decide whether to increase the road levy by 1.5 mills for 10 years. It is estimated to raise $328,342 in the first year.

For more 2014 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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