Dayton Township may put tax increase on the ballot

By Tom Gilchrist
For The Advertiser

DAYTON TWP. — This township’s 1,453 registered voters could see a proposed tax increase on the ballot later this year to pay for road work, according to Supervisor Robert Cook.

“We’re all leaning that way,” Cook said, when asked if the five members of the township Board of Trustees would place a proposed property-tax hike in front of voters.

Board members discussed the issue at their meeting Monday night. Township residents currently pay a 1-mill tax for roads raising almost $49,000 per year.

But the rising cost for laying asphalt on roads concerns board members including Cook, who said the township will pay about $79,000 to repave one mile of Mayville Road this year.

“If we continue to pay $79,000 per mile for asphalt, that can’t happen,” Cook said.

Upon questioning from township resident Rod Merten, Cook said the township used $70,000 of its money to “make this budget” for the fiscal year that started April 1.

Merten referred to the township’s decision to use that $70,000 as a “deficit,” though Cook disagreed with that term.

“We had a balanced budget,” Cook said. “Did we use $70,000 to have that budget? Yes.”

Merten kept the discussion going.

“How many more years do you think we can do this little game?” Merten asked.

Cook replied the township is “not going to do that every year.”

“It sounds like a deficit to me, because if you don’t have that surplus, you’d have to do something else,” Merten said. “You won’t have the surplus forever if you keep on using it.”

Cook said he doesn’t disagree, noting the township “took that $70,000 to make the budget, so it won’t be a deficit unless we spend more than what the original budget that we had in March, that we use.”

Township Treasurer Eleanor Kilmer said Dayton Township is “very solvent for a township.”

Trustee James Satchel, stressing the township must maintain its asphalt roads, asked if legal authorities would allow the township to ask voters for a 2-mill tax increase for roads later this year.

“They would probably allow you, but I imagine we’d get hung,” Cook replied.

“Our residents wouldn’t be too happy,” Clerk Stacy Phillips said. “Paying two mills on top of the one mill they’re already paying?”

Resident James McMinn suggested the township board could gain favor with voters by seeking a quarter-mill or half-mill increase rather than a 1-mill or 2-mill tax hike.

That way, McMinn explained, “People will … say ‘Well geez, they must really be watching this carefully, and they’re trying their best,’ and they’ll support the extra quarter or half mill, before they (approve a larger increase).”

Satchel said McMinn’s approach makes sense. “But we’ve got to do something because we’re gonna be down this road next year, and if we’re not careful, we’re going to be talking about grinding up pavement.”

Cook said the township isn’t going to do that.

Resident Richard Seidler advised that if the board seeks a tax increase, creation of a three-year plan listing where the township proposes to spend money on roads “would be a heck of a selling point” with voters.

At Monday’s meeting, township leaders told of plans to spend $112,000 this year on improvements to the following spots: Harmon Lake Road, Shaw Road, Plain Road south of Mayville Road, Bogt Road, Phelps Lake Road east of Cat Lake Road, Pattison Road, and Phelps Lake Road east of Lee Hill Road for one mile. The $112,000 cost includes paving one mile of Mayville Road.

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5 Responses to "Dayton Township may put tax increase on the ballot"

  1. grannygrunt says:

    It looks like a tax increase is the only way township residents can keep their roads in good shape, because the state nor the county is going to do anything about our local roads. But when you think about it, that is the way the citizens can keep their roads in good repair. Let’s not let our roads go to rack and ruin like Saginaw and Genesee counties have. Tuscola County has very good roads.

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  2. themouthfromthesouth says:

    They just take money and spend it. They put in a road, grade it a few times, when the rain comes and washes out the road they do nothing but grade it and say “Its maintaining” They pass the “responsibility back and forth from the road commission to the township” I thought maintaining was bringing something that breaks or falls apart back to working condition. Not putting band-aids.

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  3. Scott says:

    I’m tired of being TAXED !!!!!!

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  4. teabagmebaby says:

    The total fees and expenses racked up by law firms, consultantsand others in Detroit’s bankruptcy hit nearly $36 million in the last quarter of 2013 as the pace of negotiations, mediation and courtroom battles intensified, court documents show.

    Court-appointed fee examiner Robert Fishman’s quarterly report shows that the city’s lead bankruptcy law firm, Jones Day, had submitted more than $16.6 million in fees and nearly $734,000 in other expenses as of December, by far the top biller.

    Conway MacKenzie, the city’s restructuring consultant, billed for $5.3 million in fees and almost $17,000 in expenses, while the Dentons law firm, hired to represent the official committee for Detroit’s retirees, billed for $4.4 million in fees and $185,550 in expenses. The city is paying the fees and expenses of 16 firms as Detroit battles to reduce its $18 billion in debts and restructure city government in the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

    ■ Related: $194 million to help Detroit could come from state’s rainy day fund

    ■ Related: Lawmakers split on upfront payment to help settle Detroit bankruptcy

    The total billings will grow exponentially as bills come due for the speedy pace of talks and hearings in the first five months of 2014. Last fall, emergency manager Kevyn Orr budgeted $62.5 million for consultants and lawyers for the city, and that didn’t include the additional expenses of court-appointed lawyers representing retirees or the fees and expenses of Fishman himself.

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  5. teabagmebaby says:

    (Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday signed into law bills that complete funding for a key component of Detroit’s plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

    The legislation allocates nearly $195 million in state funds for the so-called grand bargain, which includes $366 million pledged over 20 years by philanthropic foundations and $100 million from the Detroit Institute of Arts. The money would be used to ease pension cuts for Detroit’s retired city workers and protect art work from being sold to pay city creditors.

    The Republican governor hailed the legislature’s bipartisan passage of the bills, but cautioned that the bankruptcy case filed by Michigan’s biggest city in July 2013 is far from done.

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