Source: Sherman Publications

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Residents debate library mill rate

by Mary Keck

November 28, 2012

"If it was all going to the library, I would have voted for it," said Independence Township resident Leonard Graunstadt.

On Nov. 6, he didn't vote in favor of the Clarkston Independence District Library's ballot measure for a 1.25 mill rate to replace the current .691 mills for the library.

Graunstadt said he voted against the library's replacement millage because of the portion of the proposal language that stated, "as required by law, 0.6% would be disbursed to the Charter Township of Independence Sashabaw Road Corridor Improvement Authority [CIA]."

Gruanstadt said he knew of other people who voted against the 1.25 mill rate for the same reason. Most citizens' property taxes won't be spent on the CIA, however.

"It is not a tax on individuals," said Library Board President Marilyn Pomeroy. "It is a tax on businesses in that corridor."

As the request on the November ballot stated, those funds would be "collected solely from properties within the Sashabaw Road Corridor Improvement Authority District."

Businesses lining Sashabaw from Maybee to Clarkston Road are included in the CIA. Every ballot question on increased mill rates is lawfully required to include language about the CIA.

For instance, during the August 2012 primary election, the fire department asked for an increased operating millage, and their ballot language mentioned 4.32 percent would go to the CIA.

"By voting against those millages, you will not eliminate the CIA, but you will eliminate those services," said District Library Director Julie Meredith.

Independence Township established the CIA in 2006, and citizens can expect similar ballot language regarding the CIA on any millage for the township.

The Clarkston Independence District Library will ask voters for 1.25 mills again in 2014.

"If it does not pass in 2014, the building and what's in it will divert back to the township," said Pomeroy.

The District Library board's next meeting is Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. in the library.