Warren voters have a history of supporting public safety tax proposals in recent years, and the levies on the ballot for requested extension this year were small by comparison.

Warren voters have a history of supporting public safety tax proposals in recent years, and the levies on the ballot for requested extension this year were small by comparison.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Warren public safety millage renewals pass soundly

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published August 7, 2018

WARREN — As they’ve done since 1979, Warren voters have collectively and overwhelmingly said that taxes levied for police, fire and emergency medical services are worth it.

With all precincts reporting election day and absentee voter totals late Aug. 7, the unofficial results showed that a pair of millage renewal requests — for police and fire/EMS services, respectively — were approved by wide margins. The “police protection” renewal request received 16,726 votes, or 71.7 percent of the total, while the requested “fire and emergency medical services” renewal saw support reach 78.1 percent, with 18,240 votes.

The taxes were originally approved by Warren voters in 1979 and levied a year later. The levies were carried along since they were originally passed with five-year renewals until 1998, when the first 20-year renewals were passed. City administrators sought separate 20-year renewals of 0.9676 mill each this year.

Prior to the vote, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts called the millages “the heart and guts of the Police and Fire departments.” Figures compiled by City Controller Rob Maleszyk put the projected annual loss in revenue, had the renewals failed, at a total of $6.2 million.

“I think that shows the strong support that this administration has with the public,” Fouts said Aug. 9. “I think it’s also a tribute to the leaders of both departments — Bill Dwyer, police, and Skip McAdams, fire — and also to the Warren police officers and firefighters.”

Warren voters have a history of supporting public safety tax proposals in recent years, and the levies on the ballot for requested extension this year were small by comparison. In 2012, a supplemental five-year, 4.9-mill public safety millage was approved by a comfortable margin of 65.4 percent to 34.6 percent. The proposal was extended early by another landslide in 2016, when more than 78 percent of the voters approved a renewal.