Swartz Creek city council votes to increase taxes - WNEM TV 5

Swartz Creek city council votes to increase taxes without putting it on the ballot

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Lower property values and less money coming in is cutting away at Swartz Creek public safety.

Police Chief Rick Clolinger said Monday night if the city can't bring in more tax dollars, the city will be forced to scale back services.

"We can't function any longer, or we're going to be broke," said Clolinger.

At Monday night's city council meeting, the city council voted to put the burden of the bills on the taxpayers' backs. In a 4-to-3 vote, council approved a special tax assessment, which is a 4.9 mil increase to strictly fund police and fire and maintain the services they offer.

"Our members of our public who have expressed themselves on this are kind of evenly divided on which way they would like the council to vote," said Swartz Creek Mayor David Krueger.

The assessment adds up to about $200 in additional taxes a year for taxpayers and will raise about $625,000 for the city. But some question whether residents should have been allowed to decide the fate of this millage increase on the next ballot.

"Putting this to a millage and putting it on a ballot is a death sentence for this millage increase," said resident Gentry Farmer.

"I think it's absolutely an insult you're even considering doing this without an input of the people at the polls. Trust the people, trust the people, trust the people. I want to reiterate that, trust the people," said resident Pat Clawson.

City leaders said Monday residents will begin paying the tax next summer.

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