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| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

There’s a change in plans for voters in Webster Township when it comes to the special election that was proposed for this spring.

In a special meeting held on Feb. 10, the Webster Township Board by a 5-0 vote rescinded the resolution it adopted on Jan.21 that asked to put a millage question proposal before township voters.

In follow up to the decision, The Sun Times News was told by township treasurer John Scharf the decision to rescind, “means that there will NOT be a Webster millage question on the ballot in May.”

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The proposed question was going to ask for a renewal and increase of the township’s operating millage, putting the millage rate back to where it was before it was decreased over the years by Headlee.

Webster Township Supervisor John Kingsley said the ballot question that, “we passed last month was to meet the February 11, 2020 deadline for the May election.”

“It would have been the only item, requiring the election,” he said. “We decided to look at the August election.”

Kingsley said part of the reasoning behind rescinding the decision is that the board wants to continue the discussion they had at previous meetings when discussing a millage question.

“We want to look at whether we wish to continue to take our road improvements out of the general fund or earmark revenue specifically for roads,” Kingsley said. 

A big part of the discussion at the Jan. 21 meeting was about roads and how to fund improvements. This past year did see the township devote more from the general budget for road improvement funding than in previous years.

The board consensus on Jan. 21 was that if it puts a ballot question to voters then it should be communicated that fixing roads would come with what would essentially be an increase in taxes.

The rescinded ballot question was drafted as:

“Shall the expired previous voted increase in the tax limitations imposed under Article IX, Sec. 6 of the Michigan Constitution in Webster Township, of 1.16 mills ($1.16 per $1,000 of taxable value), reduced to 0.7559 mills ($0.7559 per $1,000 of taxable value) by the required millage rollbacks, be renewed at and increased up to the original voted 1.16 mills ($1.16 per $1,000 of taxable value) and levied for 5 years, 2020 through 2024 inclusive, for general township operating purposes, road maintenance and future capital improvements, raising an estimated $509,466 in the first year the millage is levied.”

The deadline to submit a ballot question for the August primary election is May 12. The vote in August will have various items on the ballot to vote on.

It’s expected this topic will be discussed and investigated further in the coming months by the Webster Township Board.

To see the previous story on this by The Sun Times News, go to: https://thesuntimesnews.com/ballot-question-to-go-before-webster-township-voters/.

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