On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Gaines Township residents will vote on a referendum for police funding.
The Gaines Township Board of Trustees approved the ballot question in July. If it passes, each parcel will be assessed $115 annually for police services for a period of 10 years.
This vote will come months after the board attempted to pass a police assessment only to be stopped by citizen petition.
This past March, the Gaines Township Board of Trustees voted to direct Supervisor Paul Fortino to create a tax roll and calculate the assessment for each improved parcel. The proposal was to create a 10-year assessment and charge each improved parcel $115 a year. This would cost each assessed property approximately 32 cents a day.
However, in April, residents submitted a petition to the board with enough signatures to stop the board-proposed assessment.
Fortino has previously said that the past .5-mill tax to pay for police didn’t bring in enough money to completely cover police services. The township has been digging into the general fund to make up the difference, but Fortino said the department has grown and the general fund cannot completely support it.
Where to vote
Voters in Precincts 1, 3 and 4 will vote in the Gaines Township Hall at 9255 Grand Blanc Rd. Voters in Precinct 2 will vote at the Gaines Village Fire Hall at 208 Walnut St.
Ballot language for the Gaines Township Proposal Proposition to levy special assessment
“Shall the Township levy the amount of $115 per annum on all improved parcels within the Township, those being all commercial units, industrial units, dwelling units or mobile home sites on each parcel of property within the Township, including those within the Village of Gaines (except for those parcels exempt from the collection of taxes under the general property tax act) for a term of 10 years, from 2019 through 2028 inclusive, to finance police protection services?
“It is estimated that the special assessment would raise approximately $303,000 in the first year of the assessment.”