Could Dexter residents see both millage and utility rate increases beginning July 1?
Dexter Village residents may see an about 1 mill tax increase in their tax bills, a 3-percent increase in their water rates, and a 6-percent increase in their sewer rates.
Those are the numbers they’ll find later this month in a notice for a public hearing for the village’s proposed millage and utility rates that will begin July 1.
Since 2006, the village has held the millage rate constant at 13.5562, but as the final proposed budget numbers come together, the millage may increase by 1.1116 mills to 14.6678 mills, which also includes a general obligation debt of 0.8351 in the total.
The village’s millage rates have been rolled back to 9.8807 mills for general operating and 3.9520 mills for streets, according to a memo from Courtney Nicholls, assistant village manager. Because of the Headlee Amendment, municipalities are required to decrease the millage rate so that the total amount of taxes paid on property increases no more than the rate of inflation.
“As taxable values fell and the millage rate necessary to fund the general obligation bond payment increase, the millage rate was held constant by lowering the general operating millage and or the streets millage,” Nicholls said.
The maximum allowable millage for general operations is 12.5 mills and the maximum millage rate for streets is 5 mills.
But on Monday night, in a 5-2 vote, Council Members Joe Semifero and Jim Carson voted against setting the June 11 public hearings for the water, sewer and refuse rates as well as the 2012-1013 millage rates.
Carson questioned the two millage increases, saying that during a work session on the budget earlier this month that there had been a discussion of increasing the streets millage, but he didn’t remember there being a discussion of the proposed increase in the general operating millage.
The notice for the public hearings includes an overall 1.1116 millage rate increase of 0.0656 (from 9.8151 mills to 9.8807 mills) for general operations and an increase of 1.0646 mills for streets (from 2.8874 mills to 3.952 mills).
Nicholls said in the memo about the public hearings that she’d included the small increase in the general operating millage for the public notice because the current draft budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was completed with the slight increase included.
The maximum allowable rate for the village’s general fund is 9.8807 mills, she said, and to allow the council flexibility when working through a final budget, she included both the general fund and streets millage rate increases at the maximum allowed.
In addition to a possible millage increase, water rates are proposed to go up 3 percent, while sewer rates are expected to increase 6 percent, but there is no increase planned for the garbage fees.
So, in an example furnished by village staff, for a family using 10,000 gallons of water during a 2-month billing cycle, the increase would be $6.30 or $3.15 per month.
Currently, that family is paying $161.72 for water, sewer and trash pick-up every two months. With the proposed increases, that family would pay now $168.02 for those services every two months.
“The overall percentage increase is 3.89 percent,” Nicholls said in a memo.
The proposed increases for sewer and water were determined by a rate study performed by a consultant several years ago, and ensures that the water and sewer enterprise funds pay for operations, maintenance and planned upgrades, such as a planned sludge treatment project in the sewer department.
A public hearing on both the millage and utility rates is planned for June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dexter Senior Center, 7720 Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.