BENTON TOWNSHIP — Funding for Benton Township fire and police support will be up for consideration on the Aug. 4 primary ballot.
Trustees previously sent three millage renewals – for public safety, police and fire – to the ballot. Each millage, if approved by voters, would be extended for 10 years, through 2029.
The three millages generate about $1.2 million each year for police and fire operations.
“The loss of this revenue would severely affect both departments,” Township clerk, Carolyn Phillips said. “If they’re not approved we would have to make some cuts and changes.”
If approved by voters in August, the public safety millage would be renewed at 2 mills and levied for 10 years. Residents with a home valued at $100,000 would pay around $100 a year for the levy (assuming taxable value of the home is around $50,000).
The millage would raise an estimated $846,000 in its first year, in which funds would be used for public safety purposes.
The police millage renewal calls for 0.42 mills to be levied over 10 years. Residents with a home valued at $100,000 would pay around $21 a year for the levy.
The millage would raise an estimated $178,000 in its first year, with funds dedicated to police department operations.
The fire millage renewal calls for 0.42 mills, to be levied for 10 years. Residents with a home valued at $100,000 would pay around $21 a year for the levy.
The millage would also raise an estimated $178,000 in its first year to help fund fire department operations.
“If it doesn’t pass this election, we would likely try again in November because it is needed for this year,” Phillips said.
The township has a combined $5 million budget between the police and fire departments.
A closer look at levies
According to township documents, there are eight different millages the township draws funding from.
Other than an operating and airport millage, six of those eight directly fund either the police or fire departments.
The public safety millage – which expired in December 2019 and is up for renewal in August – was last approved as a five-year millage in August 2014.
The police millage – which expired in December 2019 and is up for renewal in August – was last approved as a 10-year millage in May 2009.
The same can be said for the fire millage that is up for renewal for 10 years in August.
Next is the police and fire millage, which the township created by replacing two separate millages in August 2016. The police and fire replacement millage expires in 2025.
Lastly are the police special assessment millage and the fire special assessment millage.
Since both are special assessment millages, they only affect businesses and properties in designated commercial districts.
The police special assessment levy was last approved for 2 mills in 2002, and expires in December 2022. The fire special assessment levy was last approved for 1.5 mills in 2002, and expires in December 2022.