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Chesterfield Township Greenlights Ballot Language for Tax Hike Proposals

The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to the language for the November general election.

The Chesterfield Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved ballot language Monday night for tax proposals in November.

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The proposals seek increased amounts for police and fire during the general election. The language approval at the meeting cements the .

Previous supervisor praises board

Former township Supervisor Jim Ellis commended the board Monday night for taking steps to increase funding in the departments.

"I think it took a lot of courage on behalf of the board to look at the and to look at the and see what needed to be done to make those departments sustainable," said Ellis, who held the position directly before Supervisor Michael Lovelock took office about four years ago.

"I want to say that it's been a long time since I've been here, but I think it's important enough for me to say. The community wants a good police department, the community wants a good fire department...and the necessary fund to support it," Ellis said.

Lovelock again then in the community, "like my best predecessor just spoke and said."

Voters will decide in November

The fire department will ask voters to renew the existing mills, along with a .75 mill increase. The additional .75 mills will be added to the previously collected 2 mills for operations. The previously collected .5 mills for equipment will be also be on the ballot for renewal. If approved, the tax collection would be in effect for 20 years.

The police department already collects 5 mills that do not require renewal. Voters will asked to approve another 2.5 mills that would be also be collected annually in perpetuity.

That means residents who own a house with a market value of $150,000 would pay a total of $243.75 extra annually if the police and fire taxes are approved, township officials said.

According to the ballot language, if approved, the estimated fire renewal and increase would mean approximately $3.87 million will be collected in the first year. The fire equipment, apparatus and housing renewal will bring in about $703,500 the first year. Meanwhile, the estimated revenue for police will be about $9.7 million the first year the millage is in effect.

Some residents questioned the length of the proposals, saying that two decades for fire and a never-ending millage collection for police is concerning.

"I question why 20 long years," longtime resident Joe Miller told the board. 

Tell us what you think in the comments' section and .

Christy Arboscello (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM
What do you think about the fire and police tax proposals?
Biscuit Shredder August 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I think that anyone who doesn't vote for these increases is a fool.
Common Sense August 22, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Urbanb17, what do you base your statement on? Did you know that the FD's Equipment Fund tax brings in $700,000 annually to be spent only on new equipment? Do you realize that this department has recently purchased more pumpers/vehicles that 5 other area departments all combined? Did you know that even with all the new purchases there's still several million in surplus in the Equipment Fund? The Twp. Board refused to combine both of the millages that the FD operates from (Equipment & Operations). Instead they just blindly request a hugh unneeded tax increase. Stay tuned as more accurate information will follow. Once you know the true facts you will be surprised, angry and hopefully vote accordingly. We have been misled for too long… I say no to the unwarranted 45% proposed tax increase...more to follow.
Biscuit Shredder August 22, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Well that's good to know!
Richard Rowley August 22, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Not really sure where the 45% proposed tax increase came from here but since we are on a "did you know" theme I felt the need to chime in. Did you know that your homes insurance premiums are based upon how your fire department is rated? This rating includes how well they are equipped, manpower, and distance to homes plus more. The actual ISO website claims, “Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO's Public Protection Classifications in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal” (ISO website, 2012). With that being said and combined with some calls to insurance agencies, for my own information, those residing in Chesterfield the farthest distance from a station could see an increase in their homeowners premiums upwards of $240.00. of course this depends on the value of the home as well. If Chesterfield's Fire Department fails to thrive the ramifications from this would not only be a monetary cost to residents but the difference between loss of property and life or death.
Common Sense August 22, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Richard, I did a quick calculation and I stand corrected, its actually a .375% increase. My point was... Our Township board acted irresponsibly for optioning for a 38% tax increase for the Fire Department. I’m sure that they did not look at alternative ways to operate the department. One small example is to ask how much money from the Operations Fund has been spent on overtime and then ask why all the overtime was created. I bet more than half the board doesn’t know the reason(s). Fact, the FD’s Operations Fund is in the red by $300,000, its overtaxed Equipment Fund despite having recently purchased more new pumpers/vehicles than 5 other area departments all combined still has over several million dollars in surplus. What this board conveniently failed to mention for this article is that they had the option of combining the two funds with a vote of the citizens thus most likely negating the need for a 38% tax increase. The average citizen doesn’t know that the Equipment Fund brings in over $700,000/year. Of that $700,000, $175,000 pays down the Station #3 bond leaving $525,000/year just to be spent on new equipment. Operations Fund in the red by $300,000, Equipment Fund after the bond payment is left with $525,000 each and every year, has a several million dollar surplus and growing. The Township Boards refusal to ask the voters to vote to combine the two department millage’s (Operations & Equipment) and instead request a 38% increase is disgraceful.
Richard Rowley August 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Common Sense, No doubt you bring some good points to this conversation and I admit to knowing nothing about the combining of both the operations and equipment funds. Perhaps the hardest thing to do in all this is to set aside the differences between the township board and focus directly on the residents of Chesterfield. As with many communities these days it seems the easiest target for the leaders, in these trying times, is to whittle down the finances and resources of those sworn to protect us. Most definately a disturbing trend that has literally ended both police and fire services in some communities. One can only imagine the thoughts of needing assistance in a 911 call and having that said department show up that operates on a "shoestring" budget. My tax increase would be roughly $6.26 per month increase (excuse the tears on the keyboard) and the benefits of this 38% increase far outweigh the risk. Your dispute with the township board can be somewhat settled come this November by voting for those you see fit to move Chesterfield forward. I only ask that you use caution while writing as the one's that will suffer the most are in fact the residents if your wishes do come true.
TaterSalad August 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Why Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan will lose her re-election bid: 1. http://www.breitbart.tv/very-frustrated-dem-senator-wants-obama-to-bypass-the-legislative-process-on-healthcare/ 2. Forcing us to pay for Planned Parenthood: http://biggovernment.com/jhart/2012/02/02/senators-forcing-you-to-fund-planned-parenthood/ 3. Debbie Stabenow pays her female staff less than the male staff workers: http://freebeacon.com/senate-dems-betray-lilly/
Marc B August 29, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I want to go on the record and say I fully support what Chesterfield Fire and Police do for our township. What I do not understand is the 20 year(fire) to perpetual(police) tax increase. You cannot actually tell me that they expect declining property values and absolutely no additional construction to happen for the next 20 years. I personally see property values starting to increase and new construction taking place around town which is good news for the township. Menards will be a welcome to the tax rolls along with any additional business that setup shop in Chesterfield. Things such as the splash park and continuous improvements to other parks will only increase the amount of residents moving to the community. In my opinion, I think with the economy still slowly ticking along and residents being wary of additional taxes, a 20 year proposal will be a miserable failure and shame on the leaders for expecting otherwise. I cannot honestly vote yes on a proposal that seems so short sighted with no check and balances for the next 20+ years.
Common Sense August 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Richard Rowley. It is not only the board that acted irresponsibly with its tax increase proposal it is also the fire department itself. There are specific reasons why the Operations Fund is operating in the red. There are too many examples to list here but most of them have to do with how the department is not utilizing its assets thus costing unnecessary money. I respect your admitting that you are not cognizant of the funds balances etc., most citizens are not. And I also stand corrected on the Equipment Funds balance as it’s over $6,000,000 not the “several” million as I previously stated. To me the department asking for a renewal on that fund it just plain greed. It’s overtaxed, plain and simple. As for your $6.26 increase that you’ll have to pay, lucky you. I’m not sure where you live but your situation is the exception rather than the rule. My cost and most others will be well over the “$250.00 average increase”. Please do not be misled that if the millage doesn’t go through that the department won’t be able to respond or that it will be operating on a shoestring budget. The department would be just fine if the two millages were combined. Your comment, “set aside the differences between the township board and focus directly on the residents of Chesterfield”, that is exactly what I am trying to do, protect the citizens from an unwarranted, unnecessary tax increase.
Common Sense August 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Marc B Excellent, excellent point regarding the 20 years for the FD tax and perpetual for the PD tax. So many things can and no doubt will change in the next 20 years and to be saddled with a tax that will be antiquated is not sound judgment…thus again my dissatisfaction for the board’s irresponsible request. One prime example and one that couldn’t be a better example is the FD’s Equipment Fund. I’m sure when that was put in place 20+ years ago it was a small amount and barely collected enough to purchase equipment, now look at it today!
Richard Rowley August 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM
In regards to the $6.26 increase per month ($75.00 per year) I am only speaking of the .75 mill increase for the Operations Fund. Your statement of $250.00 average increase for most is totally incorrect. That would put your home value around the 700K price range which really is an exception to the rule here in Chesterfield. Renewals do not fall under an increase which is what I think you are claiming. No doubt a great story problem for those in an algebra class to have on their test. In regards to the 20 years I agree sure seems like a long run and we can only hope we are provided with information to this decision.
Common Sense September 01, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Mr. Rowley, Regardless of what you’ve learned about the Equipment Fund tax/fund balance and how we could of completely avoided a tax increase if the two funds were combined, obviously your mind will not be changed. To be fair, there is an employee at the FD with the same name as you, wouldn’t be a relative by any chance would it?
Richard Rowley September 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
To be fair sir the option of combining the two funds is nonexistent and if you did not seize the opportunity to voice these concerns in public beforehand it is far too late and no value added to what we, the citizens, face today. You sound like an intelligent individual with some firefighting background and I can only hope you did present your concerns to the board as this would have been the responsible thing to do. If so please inform us of their response. To simply say the entire millage should be shot down, due to the fact the combination was not an option, is truly irresponsible especially if you are in some way linked to a firefighting organization. If this happens to be the intent here there must be some sort of unsettled “beef” which should not involve citizens. Don’t get me wrong if this was in fact on the ballot I would have been behind this 100% as well and all I can say to the 20 year length is a big fat OUCH!
Common Sense September 10, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Mr. Rowley, Rest assured that each and every Twp. Board member is and was aware of the option to combine the two funds. Yes I have a firefighting background and for the record I am all for the FD and most of its employees. If the decision was to combine the two millages and an operating plan was presented showing the need for additional monies and it wasn’t for 20 years then instead I would be here urging the citizens to vote for it, however this is not the case. The department could be structured in such a way where the full time employees wouldn’t be working for peanuts, the part time employees would be properly utilized, and the citizens would be fairly taxed resulting in a win/win for all concerned. I am not for the non-combining of the two funds, I am not in favor of the 38% tax increase without a detailed plan justifying it and I am certainly not for the 20 year duration of the tax increase as presented. You accused me of being “truly irresponsible” if in fact I am linked to a firefighting organization was off base as I have shown you nothing but respect. I have only tried to enlighten you and the citizens. I have not nor will I take your comment personally, instead I can only hope that you and the citizens have been enlightened and will vote no on the FD millage as presented of which will necessitate the need for the board to reevaluate and present a more viable option to the voters.
Richard Rowley September 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Common Sense, I was not trying to disrespect you at all sir I simply meant that if this millage gets shot down for the simple reason of the two not being combined than what? Public Safety has been beaten down since the economy tanked and citizens need to start standing up for folks that are referred to as heroes in the public’s eye. We do in fact have something in common and that is we both want CTFD to be successful and to progress not regress as we have seen in the past years. The sad part of all this is why are there no others “chiming” in on our conversations here. I have blogged here before in regards to Chesterfield Township and what has happened to its pride. Simply click on my name and you can view this. I do appreciate the fact that you have been very respectful here which can be rather rare in these forums. Please understand that I only want is best for the residents of Chesterfield and want my Police and Fire to be the best any city has to offer.
Marc B September 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Has anyone heard when the "public" forums regarding this tax proposal will be discussed in the community?
Common Sense September 14, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Marc, I have not heard of anything being scheduled nor do I anticipate one. Don’t be surprised if you soon hear the board and see the department’s employees going door to door scaring the citizens into believing that if the millages don’t pass that there will be a rampant unchecked increase in crime and that if your house catches on fire there will be no one to put it out. The board needs take these proposals off the ballot and present an alternative that is more realistic and palatable, practices fiscal responsibility and the terms of the millages are more in tune with reality.
Todd Andrews September 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Macomb Township residents pay 1 mil for police service through the Macomb County Sheriff. This provides 5 cars on days, 6 on afternoons, and 4 on midnights. This includes 2 command officers along with full service crime scene units, detectives, traffic, K-9, and tactical units if needed. Put this in perspective, Chesterfield's current 5 mil tax provides a minimum compliment of 3 cars and 1 command officer 24/7. Now, adding 2.5 mils would be a 7.5 mil vs 1 mil for Macomb which still offers more patrol units. Give this a thought, if you contracted the sheriff and only funded it with the mil increase request of 2.5 mil you'd have 12 sheriff cars on days, 15 afts, and 10 on mids. Contracting with the sheriff is best option and the current Chesterfield officers will still be hired by the sheriff.
Richard Rowley October 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM
The Chesterfield Fire Department will be hosting two informational meetings to review our current and future funding and to explain how we operate and the services we provide. We will address questions and concerns from our guests following the informational presentation. We want to extend an invitation to all residents, incumbent board members, and all candidates. The meetings will take place as follows- Thursday, October 11th, 7 PM Thursday, October 25th, 7 PM Both will take place at Fire Station #3, 33991 23 Mile Rd. (at the corner of23 Mile Rd. & Baker) Seating is limited to 50 people, so we would ask that you reserve a spot by contacting our office during normal business hours (8 AM – 4:30 PM, M-F) at 586-725-2233 We look forward to meeting with everyone to establish an open dialog on these very important issues.

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