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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What was the 2008 City Charter Amendment? - Educate yourself

The City Charter Amendment in 2008 that prevents city council from raising our millage/tax rate has led to the budgetary disasters Troy now faces. We are locked in at 8.1 mills, so the city council can do nothing but make cuts as the property tax revenue plummets. Cut, cut, cut.


FROM CITY CLERK'S OFFICE 2008

Ballot Proposal Information


The Ballot Question



AN INITIATORY PETITION TO AMEND THE TROY CITY CHARTER BY ADDING SECTION 9.16.5.



Shall Section 9.16.5 regarding Millage Rate Levy Limitation be added to the Troy City Charter as follows:
"Section 9.16.5. The Council shall not increase the millage rate imposed pursuant to Section 9.16 of this charter above a current rate actually imposed, levied, and collected unless the increased rate shall be first approved by a majority of the City electors voting on the question."? Yes ___ or No ___?

A YES vote means...

The 2009 City of Troy maximum allowable Operating and Capital Millage Rate shall not be higher than the current 8.1000 mills without voter approval.

A NO vote means...

The City Council may by Charter authorization levy up to a Headlee reduced maximum of 8.5076 mills without voter approval.

ABOUT THE INITIATORY PETITION

A citizen- initiated petition proposing that the City Charter be amended was circulated in Troy and received the required 2,751 signatures to place a proposed amendment to the Troy City Charter on the November 4, 2008 General Election ballot.
As required by Michigan Law, the ballot question was forwarded to the Governor for her approval of the ballot language. The proposed language was also submitted to the Attorney General's Office for review. Communications from both offices have noted that the ballot proposal, if passed, would be inconsistent with the State statutory requirements of the Home Rule City Act*. Under Section 22 of the Home Rule City Act*, all amendments submitted by initiatory petition are required to be submitted to the voters. Therefore, the ballot question must be submitted to the voters. It is unknown how the inconsistency would be resolved if the proposal is passed by the voters.
* Public Act 279 of 1909, MCL 117.1 to MCL 117.38 (Michigan Compiled Laws)

Questions and Answers

Does this ballot proposal limit all of the millage levied by the City of Troy?
How can the millage rate be increased in future years?
Will this charter amendment have an effect on the City's AAA bond rating?
What millages make up my total residential millage rate (in the Troy School District*)?



Does this ballot proposal limit all of the millage levied by the City of Troy?

The City of Troy currently levies 8.1000 mills for Operating and Capital; 0.6800 mills for Refuse collection; and 0.5000 mills for Debt Service, for a total of 9.2800 mills. This ballot proposal only affects the 8.1000 mills levied for Operating and Capital.

How can the millage rate be increased in future years?

Based on a letter from the Attorney General’s office, the 2010 and beyond millage rates are unknown at this time. If this proposal passes, the millage rate could be increased by a City Council initiated ballot question that is approved by a majority of City of Troy voters voting on the question. The millage rate could be increased in future years if the City Charter is amended by the voters.

Will this charter amendment have an effect on the City's AAA bond rating?

The City has been advised by our financial advisors that our AAA bond rating could be in jeopardy if this amendment passes. A reduction in the bond rating will result in higher interest rates on future borrowings and limit our savings on any potential refunding issues.
If the proposal does not pass, City Council retains the authority to increase the millage rate. If City Council chooses to increase the millage rate up to the Headlee maximum, the result may impact our AAA bond rating.

What millages make up my total residential millage rate (in the Troy School District*)?

The total property tax bill is divided into 8 different taxing entities. Those entities are:Millage
City of Troy9.2800 mills
Troy School District*9.4156 mills
State Education Tax6.0000 mills
Oakland County Government4.6461 mills
Oakland County Transportation Authority (SMART)0.5900 mills
Oakland Intermediate Schools3.3690 mills
Oakland County Community College1.5844 mills
Oakland County Zoo Tax0.1000 mills
Total34.9851 mills

*The other school district rates are as follows: Avondale: 34.4233; Birmingham: 36.7296; Bloomfield: 34.8349; Royal Oak: 33.1752; Warren Consolidated: 34.3793

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