School tax renewed, Headlee override rejected by LP voters

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Financial options left to the city’s state-appointed emergency manager didn’t improve during Tuesday’s primary election as voters once again rejected a proposed Headlee Amendment override.

The proposal was one of two local tax issues that was decided by less than 14 percent of eligible voters. Just 3,505 votes were cast Tuesday by the city’s 25,374 registered voters.

The Headlee override — which would have given the city authority to restore property taxes which are now levied at just under 19 mills back up to 20 mills — was defeated with 1,658 “no” votes (47 percent) against 1,399 approvals (40 percent). Three percent of participating voters did not weigh in on the issue.

The override would have generated an estimated $250,000. City voters previously rejected a similar ballot proposal in November 2012.

Voters did, however, approve a local millage renewal for a “sinking fund” for taxpayers in the Lincoln Park Public Schools district, with 1,781 (57.6 percent) approving votes against 1,310 (42.4 percent) opposing votes.

The 10-year millage would levy 1.4436 mills and generate $757,833 in its first year and cost the average homeowner $48 annually. The sinking fund was first approved in 2004 and is used to fund building construction and repair issues.

Voters on Tuesday also narrowed the field of candidates seeking the 25th District Court seat currently held by Judge Michael Cuingan, who is not seeking re-election.

Attorneys Greg Clifton and Nicholas Tsalis will face off in November after garnering the most votes — 1,184 and 1,032, respectively — against challenger Todd Barron (436).

Clifton, a trial attorney with more than 30 years experience, was named the first-ever magistrate of the 25th District Court in 2013. Tasalis is a former Wayne County prosecutor and general practice attorney with more than 30 years experience.

(James Mitchell can be reached at