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2012 General Election Ballot Guide: Michigan

MITX

Statewide Measures

  • ( + ) Proposal 1 is a referendum on a 2011 law, which expanded the powers of emergency managers in cities in financial turmoil.  Emergency managers are appointed by the Governor and given the ability to reorganize local governments and clean up financial problems. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan statewide think tank, has noted that granting such power to appointed officials is far from ideal, but it may be the only way for some cities to avoid fiscal collapse.
  • ( - ) Voters in Michigan will decide on Proposal 2, the “Protect Our Jobs” Amendment, which would give collective bargaining agreements the power of the Constitution. While unions have used collective bargaining to obtain higher wages, guarantee jobs, and receive generous health care and pensions, collective bargaining is often abused to extract dollars from the State and taxpayers.
  • ( - ) Taxpayers in Michigan will decide on Proposal 3, which would mandate that 25 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. According to an analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute, this measurecould increase electricity prices in the State by 16 percent or more, and impose net costs on the economy of more than $2.5 billion.
  • ( - ) Michigan voters will weigh in on Proposal 4, the “Keep Home Care a Safe Choice” initiative, which would expand the definition of state employees to include home health care providers, even though these individuals are not directly employed by the State. Passage of this referendum would force these providers into government unions, which, opponents say, could raise the cost of health care services.
  • ( + ) Michiganders have an additional opportunity to protect themselves from future tax hikes with Proposal 5. This initiative would require any increase in state taxes to be approved by 2/3 “supermajority” in the Legislature or statewide vote. The Michigan Supreme Court has held that the measure cannot amend or abrogate the terms of the 1978 Headlee Amendment to the State Constitution stipulating that a majority of voters must approve statewide tax increases.
  • ( + ) Voters will decide on Proposal 6, the Michigan International Bridge Initiative, which would require voters approve any new bridge or tunnel from Michigan to Canada. This project could involve government-issued debt or other taxpayer liabilities.

Kalamazoo County

Local Measures

  • In the Galesburg-Augusta School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 20 years.
  • In the Gull Lake School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 20 years.
  • In the Portage School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 20 years.
  • ( - ) Voters in Galesburg will decide on a measure that would authorize a 1 mill increase in the City’s property tax rate. The city would use these additional funds to purchase firefighting equipment.
  • ( - ) Kalamazoo City voters will vote on a referendum that would allow a 3-year property tax increase. The tax hike would increase the govern- ment’s revenues by approximately $1 million, which would be used for public transportation services.
  • ( + ) A measure will give voters an opportunity to extend property taxes for Kellogg Community College at a lower rate, thus giving residents a  tax cut.

Kent County

Local Measures

  • In the East Grand Rapids School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 3 years.
  • In the Grant School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 1 year.
  • In the Kent City School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 5 years for school operat- ing funds.
  • In the Kent City School District, residents will vote on a measure that would extend current property tax rates for 1 year for the building repair fund.
  • In the Tri-County Area School District, residents will vote on a meas- ure that would extend current property tax rates for 1 year.
  • ( - ) Cedar Springs voters will decide on a property tax increase measure. The proposed 0.25 mill, 5-year tax hike would be used to fund recreational and educational projects.
  • ( - ) Voters in Sparta will weigh in on a measure to increase property taxes by 1 mill for 5 years to pay for a public recreational complex.
  • ( + ) Walker City voters will have the opportunity to decide on a proposal that would withdraw the City from the Interurban Transit Partnership; or the “Rapid.” Passage of this measure could result in significant cost savings for taxpayers.

Oakland County

Local Measures

  • In Rochester Hills, voters will weigh in on a proposal to replace an expiring property tax with an equivalent tax.  Revenues from the 7- year tax rate would be used for local roads and streets.
  • Voters in the Huron Valley School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 10 years.
  • Voters in the Almont School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 2 years.
  • Voters in the Brandon School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 6 years.
  • Voters in the Clawson School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 10 years.
  • Voters in the Holly Area School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 9 years.
  • Voters in the Walled Lake School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 10 years.
  • Voters in the Waterford School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 10 years.
  • ( - ) Addison Township voters will decide on a ballot measure that would renew and increase property taxes for a period of 5 years. Revenues raised through this tax would be used to fund fire protection and

ambulance services. The tax hike would raise an estimated $207,000 in its first year.

  • • ( + ) Birmingham City voters will consider a measure that would make it easier for the City to sell public property by removing a requirement that all sales over $2 be approved by a majority of electors.
  • ( - ) In Milford Township, voters will decide on a proposal to raise proper- ty taxes by 0.025 mills for 20 years to pay for the construction, opera- tion, and maintenance of a community skate park.
  • ( - ) A measure in Oak Park City proposes an increase in property taxes to pay for a new retirement system for public safety employees. If approved, this 7-year tax hike would raise approximately $2.8 million

in its first year.

  • ( - ) Oxford Township voters will consider a proposed 2-year property tax increase of 1 mill, the revenues from which would be used to provide police services.
  • ( - ) If approved by voters, a proposed tax increase in Pontiac City would raise approximately $5.1 million in its first year. These funds would be used to pay for the health insurance of retirees of the city government.
  • ( - ) Royal Oak voters will consider a proposed increase in the city’s prop- erty tax rate. If approved, the measure would raise taxes by 3.975 mills for a 5-year period.
  • ( - ) Voters in Royal Oak will decide on a measure that seeks to raise prop- erty taxes to construct and repair school facilities. If approved, the 10-year tax increase would provide the government with an estimated $2.2 million in the first year.
  • ( - ) Voters in Waterford Township will vote on a measure that seeks to raise property taxes to pay for parks and recreation services. The tax hike would amount to approximately $965,000 in its first year.
  • ( - ) Waterford Township voters will decide on a proposal to increase property taxes to pay for police services. If approved, taxes will increase by $3.6 million in the first year of implementation.
  • ( - ) Wixom City voters will decide on a measure that would increase property taxes by 3.5 mills for 4 years to fund municipal operations.
  • ( - ) A proposal to increase property taxes by up to 2 mills for 3 years will be on the ballot in Holly Village. If passed, funds from this measure would be used for police and fire services.
  • ( - ) A ballot measure would authorize the Fenton Area Public School District to issue $8.4 million in new debt to remodel and refurnish schools.
  • ( - ) In the Northville School District, a proposal seeks to authorize the issuance of approximately $21 million in new debt to pay for techno- logical upgrades. (This measure will also appear on some ballots in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties.)
  • ( - )  Voters will weigh in on a proposal that would allow the Romeo Community School District to borrow up to $16.4 million to install new technology and renovate school buildings.
  • ( - ) A ballot measure in West Bloomfield would authorize a property tax increase to create a fund to pay for school repairs. The 10-year tax hike would begin on July 1, 2013 and raise an estimated $2.5 million in the first calendar year.
  • ( - ) Voters in the Clarkston Independence district will vote on a proposal to increase property taxes for 8 years to fund a library and the Sashabaw Road Corridor Improvement Authority. If approved, this proposal would raise an estimated $1.7 million it the first calendar year.

Ogemaw County

Countywide Measures

  • Ogemaw County voters will decide on a measure to continue a prop- erty tax surcharge of 0.3 mills, which is used to fund transit pro- grams.
  • ( - ) Voters in Ogemaw County will weigh in on a measure that would increase from 59 cents to $1.59 the monthly charge on telephone lines. This surcharge increase is expected to raise approximately $200,000 in the first year, which would purportedly be used to pay for 911 emergency services.

St. Clair County

Local Measures

  • In East China, voters will consider a measure to renew an existing property  tax surcharge to create a fund to make capital improvements to area schools.  It is expected to generate approximately $630,000 annually.
  • ( - ) A proposal would raise property taxes in the Yale School District to pay for school technology upgrades. If approved by voters, it would generate approximately $1.9 million over 9 years. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of Sanilac County.
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a proposal that would authorize the Crosswell- Lexington School District to increase property taxes in 2013 and 2014. If passed, the District will take in approximately $2.1 million in 2013. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of Sanilac County.

Sanilac County

Local Measures

  • Voters in the Sandusky School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional 10 years.
  • Voters in the Ubly School District will vote on a proposal to extend current property tax rates for an additional eleven years.
  • ( - ) In the Village of Port Sanilac, voters will weigh in on a proposal to increase taxes for five years to raise money for the maintenance and repair of local buildings. The tax increase would bring in approximately $27,000 in the first year of implementation.
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a proposal that would authorize the Crosswell- Lexington School District to increase property taxes in 2013 and 2014. If passed, the district will take in approximately $2.1 million in 2013. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of St. Clair County.
  • ( - ) A proposal would raise property taxes in the Yale School District to pay for school technology upgrades. If approved by voters, it would generate approximately $1.9 million over nine years. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of St. Clair County.

Washtenaw County

Local Measures

  • In Scio Township, voters will weigh in on a ballot measure that would extend for 10 years a 0.4942 mill property tax surcharge that is used to fund land preservation.
  • A measure in the Lincoln Consolidated School District would renew a 0.1 mill property tax surcharge for 6 years. These funds would be used for community recreation programs, including those for senior citizens.
  • Voters will decide on a 5-year renewal of property taxes in the Lincoln Consolidated School District. First-year revenues from this proposed renewal are estimated to be roughly $2.7 million.
  • In the Chelsea Area Fire District, voters will consider a 5-year renewal of a property tax that funds fire protection services.
  • In the Columbia School District, voters will consider a 5-year renewal of the property tax to fund school operating costs.
  • Ann Arbor voters will weigh in on a measure that would extend a cur- rent property tax surcharge, which is scheduled to expire in 2013. If approved, this tax is expected to raise more than $5 million in the first year. These funds would be used for park maintenance.
  • ( - ) A proposal in Ann Arbor would assess a new property tax surcharge on residents for the purpose of funding public art projects. If approved by voters, the tax would raise more than $459,000 in the first year of implementation.
  • ( - ) A measure on the ballot in Ann Arbor would allow the local govern- ment to issue $65 million in new debt to pay for a new library.
  • ( - ) In Augusta Township, a measure would implement a new property tax for law enforcement services. It would raise approximately $327,000 in the first year of implementation.
  • ( - ) In Bridgewater Township, a measure would implement a new proper- ty tax for law enforcement services. It would raise approximately $125,000 in the first year of implementation.
  • ( - ) A proposed 4-year property tax increase in Bridgewater Township would raise approximately $83,000 in its first year. These funds would be used for road improvements and maintenance.
  • ( - ) Voters in Dexter Township will decide on a 7-year property tax increase. The first-year revenue from this tax would be approximately $287,000, which would be used for the construction of a fire station.
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a measure that would increase property taxes to fund a proposed unification of the Willow Run Community School District and Ypsilanti Public School District. If approved, the new tax would bring in approximately $8.9 million in its first year.
  • ( - ) In the Northville School District, a proposal seeks to authorize the issuance of approximately $21 million in new debt to pay for techno- logical upgrades. This measure will also appear on some ballots in Wayne and Oakland Counties.

Wayne County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In the Northville School District, a proposal seeks to authorize the issuance of approximately $21 million in new debt to pay for techno- logical upgrades. This measure will also appear on some ballots in Oakland and Washtenaw Counties.