Road millage up for vote

BY KIRSTEN ISBELL
Clarkston News Intern Writer
Voters will decide if Independence Township collects $3.2 million for road repair.
The Road Infrastructure Improvement Millage proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot would levy a new millage of up to two mills for four years to fix 28 miles on 11 roads in the township.
“This is a workable solution,” said township Supervisor Pat Kittle. “I truly think our residents deserve better than this. Call after call after call came in on Feb. 23 about blown out tires and car damage from potholes. Something has to change.”
The township considered a road millage in 2016, but Kittle was not in favor of it at the time.
“If we go ahead and try to take care of our local roads now with a local road millage, we will definitely shoot ourselves in the foot with future road repair funding,” Kittle said in August 2015.
The new plan addresses those concerns, he said.
“With this, they are trying to change their business model to do what needs to be done,” he said. “The reality is we have to be proactive.”
The new plan includes 28 miles of road, instead of 22 miles. The Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) is contributing construction and design engineering, which is estimated to be about $4.5 million.
“RCOC contributing to these road repairs is a big help because back in 2015, the township was going to be doing this project without any help,” Kittle said.
The township is still providing $12 million through the millage, and has partnered with RCOC to perform annual maintenance, he said.
“What the millage means for Independence Township residents if voted through, the township will be able to work with the RCOC to fix the roads now,” he said.
The proposal includes parts of Sashabaw, Clintonville, Waldon, Maybee, Clarkston, White Lake, Andersonville, Holcomb, Flemings Lake, Walters, and Eston roads. It would collect $2 per $1,000 of taxable value on all taxable property in the township, an estimated $3,167,648 in the first year.
Based on the average home value and the average taxable value, it would increase the average homeowner taxes by $223.

4 Responses to "Road millage up for vote"

  1. Michael Powell   August 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Mr. Kittle seems to have forgotten that taxpayers have already been forced to be “more proactive” regarding road funding through higher state taxes that were imposed upon us for road repairs and replacements.
    How could he possibly forget that the average annual vehicle registration tax was increased by $26.50 PER VEHICLE. the state gas tax was increased by 7.3-cents PER GALLON.  And the state diesel fuel tax was increased by 11.5 cents PER GALLON.  Both of these gas tax increases raised the states gas and diesel fuel taxes to 26.3 cents PER GALLON!  This doesn’t include federal gas taxes.
    To add insult to injury we are then charged a 6% state sales tax AFTER the per gallon taxes are added. Ultimately we are being taxed on taxes!  The state went a step further by protecting itself from “funding loses due to inflation”, protections that allow the state to annually increase fuel taxes by 5%, or by the inflation rate, whichever is less.   And after all of these tax increases the township has the gall to ask property owners for $223 more in property taxes annually for roads? The promise that this millage will last only four years ignores the fact that once a tax is imposed, “renewals” always follow.  
    In Mr. Kittle’s words “this office cannot, in good conscience, ask residents to pay for a service that is clearly the responsibility of the RCOC and then get short-changed on future road appropriations funds.”
    In the Jan. 13, 2016, Township Times, Kittle said, “the proposed local road millage to repair/repave Independence roads is all but dead” (2015: A Year In Review”).     
       
    P.S. In my 44 years of driving I’ve “blown out” ONE tire due to a pothole. It never dawned on me that I should call the Waterford Township Supervisor to complain about the pothole in his township that caused it. Why? Because most people know that townships aren’t responsible for county roads! My replacement cost? Much less then $223 annually.

    Reply
  2. rmg   August 23, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you Mr. Powell for your incisive and correct comments.

    Yes, Michigan roads are the worst in the country. Independence Township roads reflect that fact. But why would we pay for improvement on only 28 miles of roads? Don’t we have concerns for other roads in the township that require attention like the secondary roads, back-roads and gravel roads too. Is it the responsibility of the township residents to pay for public roads for others to drive on? It puts residents in triple tax situation. What happens five years down the road when these roads again need replacement and major repairs.

    Everyone wants good roads but this is not the responsibility of the township but a bigger problem of poorly designed and build roads throughout the state.

    This is a bad proposal. It lacks clear thinking and financial responsibility.

    Reply
  3. Marcus   August 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Garbage. Enough taxes collected. Start cutting spending.

    Reply
  4. pamela kratkoczki   December 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

    the traffic now on clintonville due to unchecked development is atrocious expanding roads makes this worse, these road expansions should be paid for by developers and the new homeowners not existing homeowners who do not benefit . I have seen unchecked development in this corridor for the last 20 years not protecting the wetlands in my opinion but working around protection acts for our environment . this is sad . I have septic and well and pay for my trash I am paying my property tax for road expansions rarely repairs to enhance developers not homeowners

    Reply

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