A Sign of the Times

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It’s no secret that Auburn Hills is a big business community.  Our business community is thriving and with all the hustle and bustle of traffic that moves through the community each day, we also seem to be a desirable place for businesses to want to advertise their products and services.  In a more controlled and aesthetically pleasing way, this is done by permanent signs on buildings and ground signs out front of corporate locations.  And in other ways, advertising is done utilizing digital billboards along the highways.  These examples take into account private property decisions with proper local or state approvals.  Continue reading “A Sign of the Times”

A Sign of the Times

Fire Department Millage Election

169840833-FOn March 28, I recommended to the Auburn Hills City Council that they approve ballot language for a Fire Department millage election to take place on August 2, 2016.  The Fire Department, which has a millage to support it, has been relying upon another millage, the General Operating millage, for many, many years because its own millage has not produced enough revenue to support its operations.  With the constant growth of our community and a tax base that declined 37% since the great recession of 2008, it has become necessary to increase revenue for the fire department.  The City Charter, as originally approved by the citizens of the community, provides for up to 2.5 mills for fire department operations which includes fire suppression, fire prevention, and life support services.  However, due to the Headlee amendment to the state constitution, the fire millage has been rolled back to 1.7604 mills.  Unfortunately, after losing more than $1 billion in taxable value from the recession, this much-reduced millage rate, coupled with this much lower taxable value, does not produce adequate revenue to fund the fire department and that same circumstance has also greatly reduced the General Operation millage revenue upon which the Fire Department relied for subsidies.  Perhaps there is an easier or clearer way to talk about this, but I’m not sure I can accomplish that without more explanation.  So, the City will provide that explanation over the next couple of months by way of our website, through educational pieces, and through community leaders utilizing opportunities to talk with individual citizens and citizen groups about the request for the additional millage.  Since this will be a Headlee override election, we will not be requesting to raise the maximum allowable millage rate above 2.5 mills.  However, we will be asking voters to approve an increase to the rolled-back rate of 1.7604 to the rate of 2.5 mills.  The impact of that increase of .7396 mills, if approved by voters, is as follows: Continue reading “Fire Department Millage Election”

Fire Department Millage Election