Small Tax Hike OK’d for Indigent Veterans

A small tax increase for services to support indigent veterans got final approval at the Sept. 19, 2012 meeting of the Washtenaw County board of commissioners. The Michigan statute that authorizes this millage predates the state’s Headlee Amendment, so it can be approved by the board without a voter referendum. Several veterans spoke during a public hearing about the tax, many of them making an emotional appeal to support the funding.

The tax to support services for indigent veterans was increased to 0.0286 mills, to be levied in December 2012. The current 0.025 mills brought in $344,486 in 2012. The increased millage is expected to raise $390,340 in revenues for use during 2013.

According to a staff memo, the increase is needed because of rising claims and services from veterans due to a struggling economy, an anticipated increase in the number of returning soldiers, and a drop in property values. The county first began levying this millage in 2008. Services are administered through the county’s department of veterans affairs.

This brief was filed from the boardroom in the county administration building, 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]