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I currently serve as the mayor of the City of Milan. I feel transparency and open government are important to a thriving democracy. I invite you to post questions or comments ---if you have any ideas about things you'd like me to discuss, relating to the City of Milan, this blog is a great place to exchange ideas. You must include your name, (first and last) and town to have your comments posted here.


Monday, November 30, 2009

First the good news...

Taxes are going down

BUT…water rates are going up.

At our November 23 City Council Meeting, we unanimously voted to raise our water rates by some $12.50 per month. We plan to lower property taxes by about two-thirds of that same amount, or about $8.33 a month for a house with a $175,000 market value.

Our current millage of 15.5 mills will be reduced to 14.4 mills in May 2010.
This means that our water rates will be the highest, but our taxes will be the lowest for this region.

Here is a comparison of water rates based on an average residential monthly bill, with the millage rates for cities in our area:

Milan: $167.67 Millage: 14.4 mills
Ann Arbor: $152.42 Millage: 16.78 mills
Monroe: $109.75 Millage: 36.8249 mills (this is the whole tax bill, not just the city)
Ypsilanti: $142.51 Millage: 30.6016 mills
Brighton: $158.27 Millage: 15.2734 mills
Saline: $142.16 Millage: 15.53 mills

Now when you pay your water bill, you will pay what it costs us to provide your water service.

City administrator Ben Swayze and I are forecasting our Fiscal Year 2010/2011 Budget based on the lower millage rate of 14.4 mills.

This decision was made because for many years the City of Milan was not charging enough for water service. For several years our General Fund subsidized the Water Fund by as much as $550,000 in some years.

This past year it came to more than $290,000.

That subsidy ($290,000) means that our tax payers were financially supporting our biggest water customers who were not being billed their fair share.

Moreover, some of our biggest water consumers include the Milan School District and the Federal Correctional Institution, yet because of that General Fund subsidy, the Milan City taxpayers were financially supporting those tax exempt water consumers.

This is a move towards a more transparent and fair financial picture for everyone.

Please feel free to contact City Administrator Ben Swayze or me, at Milan City Hall 439-1501 or Email at: kymm@ci.milan.mi.us OR bens@ci.milan.mi.us

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