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Wyandotte Seeks Voter Approval of 5-year Tax Increase

As a result of the projected General Fund revenue shortfall of approximately $1.5 million in 2011, the council approved a ballot question asking to increase the operating millage by an additional 1.75 mills for a three-year period.

Wyandotte City Council will seek voter approval of the tax in May elections.
Wyandotte City Council will seek voter approval of the tax in May elections.

Wyandotte voters will be asked in May whether they want to pay more in taxes to continue their current level of city services.

Council members voted 5-1 Monday to ask residents to approve a 3-mill, five-year tax. Councilman Ted Miciura was the dissenting vote.

As a result of the projected General Fund revenue shortfall of about $1.5 million in 2011, the council approved a ballot question asking residents to increase the operating millage by an additional 1.75 mills for a three-year period.

In November 2011, voters approved the operating millage increase, which is set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

Rather than asking voters to renew the matter for another three years, council members voted to extend the question to five years. 

If approved by voters, the 3-mill tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $62 per year for the next five years, City Clerk William Griggs said.

Voters could find themselves going to the polls twice next year. 

While the city's proposal is slated for May, the Wyandotte Board of Education wants to hold a special election in February to renew the 18-mill non-homestead tax that expires in 2015.

It costs the city about $12,000 to hold an election. Due to the budget, Griggs said the city “hopes the school district will consider changing its election date” from Feb. 25 to May 6, 2014. 

Calls to Superintendent Carla Harting were not immediately returned. 

Did the council make the right decision? What are your thoughts? 

Jacob Pustulka December 11, 2013 at 06:11 PM
A little transparency would help I'm sure. Like what will happen provided funds are met without the gap funding, or what are they doing to try and balance the budget without said funding.
Earl of Sandwich December 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM
A few years years when they asked for money the first time didn't they want 3.25 mills? Some members on Council blocked it and would not even let the citizens vote on it. Now the same people that blocked it want to ask for more money? In 2011 the 3.25 mills would probably have passed. I don't know about now. Another masterful stroke of genius
Keith Gillette December 12, 2013 at 07:00 AM
First stop the 13th check! There's a savings. Second close the golf course there's a savings. Do what we do at home live within our paycheck. I'm sure there are other savings available if you Look!
rdarin1 December 12, 2013 at 07:56 AM
Yes-at the time the original millage increase was requested the finance department had shown a lot of statistics regarding the need for a larger mill increase for a longer period of time, but the city council bickered and passed the smaller $$ amount. The need seemed pretty clear to me for a larger amount at that time, and now...here we are exactly where the Mayor and Todd Drysdale said we would be..needing more money. I hope the citizens of the City understand what happened and agree that the money needed is not new...it was needed then and agree to the new millage request. I certainly don't want my city services to be decreased.
rdarin1 December 12, 2013 at 07:59 AM
Also..unless there is some compelling need to have a school election on a seperate day..the school district needs to be fiscally responsible and change their election date. $12,000.00 is a lot of money.
Sue Czarnecki December 12, 2013 at 08:59 AM
I agree with Keith. A good start would be to close down or sell the golf course. And then the trolley. Does anybody know how much they cost the city to run, repair, insure ????
Corki December 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM
YES, citizens have the right to VOTE on passing 3 mills for 5 years! That was finally the last of way-too-many resolutions last Monday night. Council did not finalize and enact any millage. And for those who think a citizen cannot "fight City Hall and win" please note that Council only passed that resolution after a sincere request from an concerned citizen to "Let the people VOTE on it". (Thank you Mr. Culhane!) The Citizens Budget Committee did indeed "recommended" in 2011, 3 mills for 3 years. Mr. Drysdale did the same, but Council "bickered" and settled on 1.75 mills for 3 years. And HERE WE ARE AGAIN!!!!! Be responsible before you vote and do the research like those of us on that Citizens Budget Committee did in 2011, for 8 weeks. Copies of Wyandotte's "Five Year Financial Plan" are available at City Hall for those who want to review what Wyandotte's future holds - with or without these 3 mills for 5 years. Also note, our city budget (with or without a millage) can continue to be NEGATIVELY impacted by the Governor of Michigan who can't balance his own budget without more "dashboard" work from Wyandotte. We cut and consolidate and he wants MORE in order to "grant" us a constantly declining portion of state funding......one or two steps forward and three steps back! That's where we will be if the voters do not VOTE to support 3 mills for 5 years! Without more PRO-active voting Wyandotte will be doing more of this RE-active "bickering" again by 2017! Corki
JJ December 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Just for arguments sake,let's say the golf course has for the year an average of 50 golfers a day ( which is a bit exaggerated ) and the average charge per golfer is $17.50 per golfer. I say average because there is without a doubt 21/2 times as many senior golfers,so we split the $15 per senior vs the $20 for non senior. Then we estimate the season to officially begin around 4/15 to early Oct. roughly 170 days,which comes to 170x50x$17.50=$148,750. plus the cost of running the pro-shop and Rangers,which roughly comes to about $27,000 a year $151,450.00 but as I said roughly comes too. It would be nice if we had a definite $ amount,number of golfers per year,cost of running the pro shop including Rangers and up keep of carts ETC. The proper thing to have done,is having the head of the recreation dept give the citizens of Wyandotte a break down as to what the over-all cost is to run the Golf course at the council meeting. I truly hope my figures are wrong because I enjoy golfing there as often as I can but if I'm correct in my estimates,then we can't ask the citizens to vote a tax increase and yet maintain a losing project year after year. I believe that we pay an outside source $140,000.00 a season to maintain the up keep of the course. I also have to believe that when Diane was running the maintenance shop,the course had to be making money,but what I believe doesn't count,it's what the facts and figures SAY!
JJ December 12, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Another brain dead DUM O CRAT heard from! Corki it seems that not only does the political left spew B.S. so does it's followers,FYI Corki Michigan has well over a $450 million surplus! You would be better off being a better concerned Wyandotte citizen,then being a political FOOL! Why you had to bring Gov. Snyder into this discussion,only shows your ignorance!
gary grabowski December 18, 2013 at 08:11 AM
JJ. That's a Dy-No-Mite rip on the Corkster. Lighten up.

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