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Twp. sets tax rates, okays budgets for 2011

September 29, 2010 - Oxford Township residents will notice a slight increase on their property tax bill in December.

In fact, it's so minuscule that most people probably won't even notice it or feel it in their pocketbook.

Last week, officials set the tax rates that will support the 2011 fiscal year and all of them remained the same, except for the millage to pay off the library/fire bond debt, which actually went up by 0.03 mill.

This year the township will be levying 1.48 mills to help pay off the debt as opposed to the 1.45 mills it levied last year.

A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value.

Township Treasurer Joe Ferrari explained that even though the bond debt rate went up, taxpayers are still saving money because the municipality refinanced and combined the fire and library bonds earlier this year.

"It would have went up even more if we had kept the bonds separate," he said. "If you had them separate this year, the rates for each of them would have went up significantly because of the taxable values dropping and the bond payments increasing."

Seven tax rates totalling 10.0972 mills were approved by the township board along with $8.71 million in budgets for the next fiscal year, which begins Jan. 1.

A 0.95-mill rate was approved to support the township's general fund, which is budgeted to be $1.583 million.

The township's been levying a 0.95-mill operating rate since the mid-1990s.

Barring any unforeseen expenses, the township's general fund is projected to end the current fiscal year on Dec. 31 with a fund balance of $1.808 million.

A fund balance is basically a government entity's savings account used to cover unexpected expenses, pay for special projects or offset revenue losses.

None of the full-time elected officials took pay raises for next year. Their annual salaries will remain $60,746 for the supervisor and $50,578 each for the clerk and treasurer.

The four elected township trustees will continue earning $110 per regular/special meeting and $95 per committee meeting.

To support the fire department's $2.196 million in budgets, the township will levy two millages totalling 2.5 mills.

A total of $2.162 million was budgeted for police services provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department. That will be funded by a tax rate of 2.9152 mills.

The Oxford Public Library will be funded by a $1.031 million budget next year, supported by 1.3982 mills in operating taxes.

Oxford Township's Parks and Recreation Department will have $1.246 million to spend next year. It's supported by a 0.8538-mill property tax.

Township officials also approved budgets for nine dedicated funds, which include Safety Paths ($24,900), Police ($42,789), Roads ($45,100), Cemetery Maintenance ($82,150), Telecommunications ($35,880), Police Narcotics ($4,838), Building Permits ($45,779), Building and Site ($178,400) and Fire ($30,726).

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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