web analytics

Categorized | News

Residents to vote on proposals Tuesday



Depending on where readers live, they may be required to vote on several proposals in Tuesday’s primary. Everyone will vote on Proposal 1, a proposal of a new statewide tax to reimburse local governments for revenue lost due to personal property tax reforms; the Kent County senior millage is up for renewal, as is the Kent District Library millage; and several townships also have millage questions on the ballot.


Each year, Michigan businesses pay personal property taxes on equipment, furniture, computers, and more—no matter whether they were purchased last year or 50 years ago. Advocates to repeal say this discourages business expansion and job creation, and that it is unfair to tax businesses at the time they buy the equipment, and again on an annual basis.

While legislators have wanted to change this, they needed to come up with a way to replace the money that the tax brings in—money that goes to local municipalities for city services such as police and fire. In 2012 and 2014, the state legislature and governor enacted reforms that bring personal property tax relief to businesses. But local governments have wondered where their revenue was now going to come from. Public Act 80 redirects a portion of the state’s current use tax to create a new local tax. The revenue of this new tax would be distributed to local governments as reimbursement for lost personal property tax. A new special authority would be created to levy the tax and distribute the revenue.

The proposal, already approved by lawmakers, would reimburse local governments through a new assessment on manufacturers and reallocation of existing money from the state “use tax,” which is collected on items brought into Michigan or purchased from out-of-state retailers via mail or internet.

According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (a non-partisan think tank on public policy), if the ballot question is approved by voters, the personal property tax reforms will go forward, with local revenue reimbursement implemented as prescribed in the 2014 legislation. If the measure fails, all provisions of the personal property tax reforms will be repealed effective for tax year 2015, meaning that all businesses would once again be subject to any relevant tax levies on personal property.

Vote yes to approve or no to reject this proposal.

For more info, visit election.crcmich.org and read the CRC’s full report.


The Kent County Senior Millage served nearly 17,000 people overall last year with 43 different in-home services. Included in that was more than 1,150 seniors over age 60 in northern Kent County that received in-home services funded by the Kent County Millage, with 243 in Cedar Springs. Services to help seniors live independently in their own homes included home delivered meals, transportation to vital medical appointments, personal care, home weatherization and repairs, and respite for caregivers. First passed in 1998 at 1/4 mill, it was renewed at 1/3 mill in 2006. It is up for renewal for another 8 years at ½ mill, an increase that will cost the owner of a $150,000 home $12.50 in additional tax per year.

Vote Yes to approve, no to reject.


The Kent District Library is asking for 1.28 mills to provide funds for library services. This is a renewal of its former .88 mills, and an additional .4 mills, for 10 years, until 2023. They expect it to raise $20,060,000 in the first year. Residents of the City of Cedar Springs will not vote on this, since they have their own public library.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Residents of Algoma Township are being asked to vote on a renewal of the current millage that supports the fire department. They are asking for .9854 mills ($.9854 for every $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten years, 2014-2023. They expect it to raise $353,335 the first year.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


When a house in Solon Township catches on fire, response is immediate, due to Solon and neighboring fire departments being part of the MABAS system (Mutual Aid Box Alarm Systems). That means that in a fire, neighboring departments will also be dispatched right away. However, that’s not the case in medical calls, and Solon Township has had a hard time getting volunteer firefighters during daytime hours. If firefighters are working, they might not hear the call, and if no one answers by two minutes, dispatch calls it out again, and then finally calls another department. That’s happened a couple of times this year, according to Fire Chief Jeff Drake. But those five minutes could be crucial in a medical call. He said they currently have one firefighter that mans the station for 20 hours/week during the day, but it’s only on a trial basis. With the millage proposal of a half mill (.50), they are looking to fund one for 40 hours. The person would be there to answer calls immediately, maintain equipment, and maintain the facilities.

Drake said he’s taking a three prong approach to address the lack of daytime volunteers: he asked to hire someone, he asked for the funding to pay them (the millage question), and he has applied for a grant for the Michigan Treasury to examine the feasibility of Solon consolidating their fire department with neighboring fire departments, such as Cedar Springs. He sent out letters to neighboring departments, and did receive a response from Cedar Springs City Manager Thad Taylor in favor of the study. Drake has not yet heard anything on the grant.

Drake said that if the millage is not approved, they would remain with the status quo, and that he would try to continue recruiting, but that it’s tough. “People just aren’t available,” he noted.

If the millage is approved, residents would pay 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. It would last from 2014 to 2023, and is expected to raise $76,511.15 the first year. While the millage language talks about fire equipment and maintenance also, Drake said the main goal is to support staffing.

Vote Yes to approve the levy of .50 mill and No to reject it.


Sparta Area Schools is looking to renew its operating millage of 18.7 mills on all property except principle residences. This allows for the collection of its foundation allowance to support school operations. The current millage expires in 2015, so this proposal will run from 2016-2025.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Sparta Township has two millage renewals on the ballot for the fire department. The first one is a renewal of .2409 mills for six years, for the acquisition of fire equipment, and the second is a renewal of .25 mills for renovating and repairing of fire station, and vehicle purchases.

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


Tyrone Township is seeking both a renewal and increase to support their fire department. Proposal 1 seeks a renewal of one mill for two years (2015 and 2016) for fire operations. Proposal 2 asks for an increase of .50 mills for the same two  years 2015 and 2016).

Vote Yes to approve, No to reject.


This post was written by:

- who has written 19598 posts on Cedar Springs Post Newspaper.

Contact the author

Comments are closed.



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!