Millage vote slated for November

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Residents will vote to increase a millage in the next election.

The millage will increase the current levy of 13.9 mills to 16.5 mills and could bring in $2 million dollars, city officials said last week. A mill is one tenth of a cent for every $1 of taxable value of property.

The measure, called a Headlee override, will return the millage to the amount originally authorized by the city, allowing it to override the Headlee Amendment to the state constitution, which requires a local government to reduce its millage when annual property growth exceeds the rate of inflation.

Of the funds the millage is expected to generate, $1 million will go to offset the $1.1 million drop in revenue from property tax the city expects for next year, City Administrator David Tamsen said.

“The Headlee (override) will take care of that shortage,” Tamsen said. “It will also bring in approximately $1 million new dollars to the city that we can use to defray some of the costs of going forward.”

But that won’t be enough to fully cover the costs of operating the city, Tamsen said. City officials, who announced earlier this year they expect a budget deficit of $7 million over the next four years, will have to consider other options, including layoffs and employee union negotiations, to make up the difference, he said.

The millage proposal language is to be approved by August to go on the November ballot.

Officials already have begun some belt-tightening measures since announcing the proposed millage at the April 26 City Council meeting. At Tuesday’s special meeting, members voted to lay off Economic Development Director Michael Donofrio. The layoff is to take effect May 17.