Veterans Relief Tax Gets Initial OK

At their Aug. 6, 2014 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to levy a tax to support services for indigent veterans. A final vote is expected at the board’s Sept. 3 meeting.

The county has determined that it is authorized to collect up to 1/10th of a mill without seeking voter approval. That’s because the state legislation that enables the county to levy this type of tax –  the Veterans Relief Fund Act, Public Act 214 of 1899  – predates the state’s Headlee Amendment. The county first began levying this millage in 2008, and collects the tax in December. Services are administered through the county’s department of  veterans affairs.

Since 2008, the county board has slightly increased the rate that it levies each year. In 2012, the rate was 0.0286 mills – or 1/35th of a mill. It was raised to a rate of 1/30th of a mill in December 2013, to fund services in 2014.

The current proposal is to levy 1/27th of a mill in December 2014, which is expected to raise about $540,887 in revenues for use in 2015.

There was no discussion of this item at the board’s Aug. 6 meeting.

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