Public Hearings Set for County Millages

At its Aug. 3, 2011 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners scheduled three public hearings for its Sept. 7 meeting – including two related to countywide millages.

The hearings are intended to get feedback from the public on these three items: (1) a millage levied under the Veterans Relief Fund Act; (2) a millage collected under Public Act 88 to be used for economic development purposes; and (3) the use of funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, awarded by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

The veterans relief millage would not exceed 1/40th of a mill, to be levied in December 2011 for use during the calendar year 2012. It’s estimated to bring in $344,486 and would be used to provide services for indigent veterans in Washtenaw County.

The Public Act 88 millage of 0.05 mill would generate an estimated $688,913 annually and would cost homeowners $5 for every $100,000 of their homes’ taxable value. According to a staff memo, the county could assign some of the funds ”to a non-profit organization which is engaged in the purpose of advertising the advantages of and encouraging trade within the County.” In previous years, Act 88 revenues have been used to fund the economic development agency Ann Arbor SPARK and other groups.

The Washtenaw County sheriff’s office has applied for a $42,587 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The U.S. Dept. of Justice requires a public hearing before award of these grants, to get input about projects or programs that might be funded by the money.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow.