Residents Make Roads a Priority in Auburn Hills

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, our citizens placed their trust in our local government by voting in favor of a 1.5 mill road millage to fund our road infrastructure well into the future.  After recognizing that a solution to road funding does not appear to be forthcoming from State government, our residents took matters into their own hands to control our own destiny.  The road millage, which in its first year of 2021, is projected to generate about $2.6 million.  That number will be modestly increased assuming we have additional growth in property values and new construction added to our tax rolls.  It is important to assure you that we will wisely direct these funds into the improvement of the road infrastructure for years to come and to maintain a City road standard that sets us apart from many other communities. 

For the record, your elected officials and my administration do not take a tax increase lightly.  We have prided ourselves on maintaining a very low total city tax rate and continued to do so after the great recession of 2008 by adopting many painstaking measures to gain efficiencies and reduce costs in all aspects of our operations, including employee pay and benefits.  There was shared sacrifice across the board, including with our elected officials.  One question that has been raised that I feel strongly needs to be addressed is the question of why we put forth a tax millage proposal during the pandemic.  First, the decision to propose the millage was a decision that began from discussions in 2018, followed by a final decision to move the millage question forward in December of 2019.  The ballot language and the process to place the question on the ballot occurred very early in the year and the final action needed from City Council occurred on March 2, 2020.  I think we owe it to our residents to explain this, for this was an idea that was developed and approved for the August 4 ballot prior to the declaration of the pandemic.  While the timing may not have been ideal, the facts are as stated herein. 

Thank you again to the entire community.  My promise to you is that we will continue to maintain a community that focuses on a good quality of life for all of our residents, businesses, and visitors alike; and this includes the all-important road infrastructure.  The revenue generated will be invested in a way that not only enhances property values, but is a value to everyone who travels on our roads, particularly our own citizens.  As you witness the ongoing improvements to City-owned roads throughout the community year-after-year, we hope you will look back on the all-important decision that was made on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 and know that your tax dollars are hard at work as promised.

Tom Tanghe, City Manager

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