Property levies to go up 9% this year
BY STEVE NEAVLING • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • MAY 1, 2009
Macomb County commissioners narrowly approved Thursday the first county property tax increase in more than four decades during a raucous meeting.
The 16-10 vote means county property taxes will increase 9% this year, costing the average homeowner an extra $27 a year. The county's tax base will increase $11.5 million this year, erasing a $10.3-million deficit that threatened hundreds of government jobs and numerous services for seniors, lower-income families and other residents.
"This may be political suicide," Commissioner Susan Doherty, D-Warren, said before supporting the increase. "But we have do something."
"Are you oblivious to these poor economic times?" Apollonia Buschmohle, 82, asked commissioners, saying she barely has enough money to care for her paralyzed husband.
Even with the tax increase, the county faces a $10-million deficit next year because of skyrocketing pension and health care benefits and plummeting property taxes.
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Chairman Leon Drolet said after the meeting that he is seriously considering a recall campaign targeting commissioners who supported the tax increase. FULL STORY.