WB approves unchanged tax levy for operating millage

West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 10, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees held a public hearing about its operating tax millage rate Sept. 11 during a board meeting.

“The maximum authorized rate is 3.7362 (mills),” said Rob Scripture, township assessor. “The township has levied this rate (3.3056 mills) since 1995.”

There were no changes to the levy rate, Scripture said. 

“Not to boast, but we are careful,” said Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan. “We operate carefully and prudently. We’re careful because the voters don’t want taxes to increase.”

The operating millage funds the basic, day-to-day operations of the township. It does not include public safety services. 

The township levies two public safety millages every year, with rates of 2.85 and 3.1378 mills; two library mills with rates of 1 and 0.6586 mill; and four parks and recreation millages with rates of 0.2435, 0.35, 0.3892 and 0.2286 mill.

Kaplan said that about 70 percent of the township’s budget is dedicated toward the salaries and benefits of township employees. The other 30 percent goes toward maintenance and related costs.

Scripture said that, like the operating tax millage, the township’s other levies were prepared and proposed as in previous years, with no proposed changes other than the drain debt service levy.

The drain debt is not subject to Headlee Amendment calculations, said Scripture.

“It’s based upon actual or anticipated costs,” he said. “It fluctuates every year, depending on what’s going on in terms of different projects.”

The Headlee Amendment requires local governments to reduce their millages when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation. This means that millage rates get “rolled back” so the resulting growth in property tax revenue is no more than the rate of inflation. 

In 2016, the drain debt levy was 0.1538 mill. In 2017, the levy was reduced to 0.128 mill.

“There’s not much going on this year in changes of tax rates,” said Scripture. “It’s a pretty uneventful year in terms of these millages.”

No members of the public attended the hearing.

Trustee Howard Rosenberg made a motion to approve the resolution to approve the 2017 tax rates, and the resolution passed unanimously.