Chesterfield Township officials will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday in municipal offices regarding proposed taxes for the fire department.
During the public meeting, the township attorney will have suggested millage language to potentially be placed on the November ballot, Fire Chief Doug Charbonneau said Monday.
The township committee formed to review the department's financial needs will need to approve the language before the Board of Trustees votes on it at the Wednesday meeting, Charbonneau said.
The chief did not say at this time how much the proposal would be, as community officials are wrapping up discussions about what to ask voters to approve. The vote will come at a time when the department millage is up for renewal. A tax increase is expected, as the community has struggled with declining property values generating less revenue for the department. Township officials have until August to decide on what amount to seek from taxpayers.
"The millage expires; it's completely gone," Charbonneau told Patch in March. "We can collect in December 2012 to pay for the following year's tax but, after that, the doors are shut unless we have a new millage in place."
Residents who own houses with a market value of $120,000 or a taxable value of $60,000 currently pay $140.85 annually for the fire department, according to township Finance Director Victoria Bauer.
That money is collected under the approximate two mills for operations and half mill for equipment—which currently come to about 1.9 mills and .46 mills, respectively, because of declining home values, the fire department said.
That means less and less money is projected to come into the department each year under the current mills if they are renewed.
Ideally, the language would lump the different mills together, with any added mills, for 10 years, the chief has said.
"We're going to try and have one common millage," he said. "We're doing long-range planning rather than crisis management."
Police millage talks in early stages
The special meeting Wednesday will also include talks about the police millage, according to the township.
Township Clerk Eric Wurmlinger said Monday discussions about the police fund are in early stages and no committee has been formed at this time to review the department's finances.
Last month, an independent audit concluded that the police fund would be depleted in four to five years if nothing changed. Plante and Moran said the department suffered an $870,000 operating loss because of an 18 percent decline in property values and encouraged the township to look at long-term financial planning for the fund.
Last summer, Bauer told the board that the police department's total budget revenue was about $7.4 million and 91 percent of that money came from tax collections.
Check back with Patch for updates.