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Ballot proposals



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July 11, 2012 - Voters have begun receiving their absentee ballots in the mail for the August 7 primary election and there already seems to be confusion to millage proposals, especially related to the police.

The ballot contains two millages for police. The first is a renewal of 1.9832 mills for four years and would collect approximately $2,425,440 in the first year if approved and levied. A property with a taxable value of $50,000 would be taxed $99.16 for the millage.

The second millage is new and would levy an additional 1.0168 mills for a period of four years and collect approximately $1,237,305 in the first year if approved and levied. A property with a taxable value of $50,000 would be taxed $50.84 under this millage.

Lieutenant Dan Toth of the OCSD and Orion Township substation commander stressed that the additional millage is not for any extra police services.

"It's just to maintain our already reduced levels of staffing," said Toth, noting they lost five positions two years ago. "Without the additional millage we could lose another eight positions, which would result in 45 percent reduction in police services for Orion Township."

He said reason for the increase were also due to loss of revenue through property taxes.

"That's real critical," added Toth.

Other millages on the ballot include a renewal for fire protection at .9916 mills for four years and would collect $1,297,750 in the first year if approved and levied. A property taxable value of $50,000 would be taxed $49.58 for the millage.

This millage is "to provide fire protection services for the operation and maintenance of Orion Township Fire Department including the purchase of equipment and buildings to serve the Charter Township of Orion and the Village of Lake Orion."

A total of 3.99172 mills are being asked between the fire renewal, police renewal and the police increase. If all three were approved and levied, a person with a property taxable value of $50,000 would pay approximately $200 a year for the three millages.

"The most important thing for people to remember is two of the questions are renewals, they've already been levied before," said Orion Township Clerk Penny Shults. "We put them for four years so they come back before the voters for consideration."

If there are questions concerning the ballot language, Shults said residents should call the clerk's office at 248-391-0304 ext 104 or call the Orion Township Substation at 248-393-0090 or the Orion Township Fire Department at 248-683-9701.

"We'll help if they need clarification regarding what the ballot language is actually stating," she said. "Remember it's a two sided ballot too."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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