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Renewal of police tax sought in Addison

July 14, 2010 - When Addison Township voters trek to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 3 they will decide the fate of the property tax that funds their police protection.

"We're only asking for the 3.4874 (mills), which is the same as what we levied before – there's no increase," said township Supervisor Bruce Pearson.

One mill is worth $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value. A home with a taxable value of $100,000 could expect to pay $349 annually under this millage proposal.

If approved, it's estimated the four-year tax would generate $1.041 million in its first levy, which would be on the December 2010 property tax bill.

The township's previous police millage expired with the December 2009 levy. Revenues derived from it are currently funding the municipality's service contract with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

Funds from that millage will continue to pay for police services through March 31, 2011, the end of the township's current fiscal year.

However, after that, there is no money for police unless the Aug. 3 millage renewal is okayed by voters. "We will not have any funding for police protection if we don't have this approved," Pearson said. "It's as simple as that. There will be no money . . . This is our only police protection millage."

If the renewal is approved, the township will continue to be served by six deputies and one sergeant, who serves as both substation commander and investigator.

"We're not cutting anyone," Pearson said. "We're one of the only townships that's remaining the same (as far as staffing levels)."

By the same token, the substation's not increasing personnel either.

"We're not going to add any staffing," Pearson said. "At one time it was bandied around that we may add a secretary to field calls, but we put that on hold because we had an inkling about the economy. I'm glad I didn't put that person on."

Based on budget projections, Pearson indicated the 3.4874-mill tax proposal would be enough to keep existing staffing levels for the near future.

"We're secure for two years," he said.

Pearson noted Addison still has a "fill contract" with the sheriff's department, meaning whenever deputy takes a day off, the township automatically receives a replacement, so there's never a shortage of officers on the road.

The township pays extra for this.

"We're the only township still doing that," the supervisor said. "All the other ones have gone to the no-fill (contracts)."

Overall, Pearson's confident township voters will approve the millage renewal.

"There's no doubt in my mind," he said. "They're huge sheriff's department supporters out here. They've always gotten a very good response out here. They know how important this is."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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