Hearing set for Monday on raising millage to maximum

Published 1:59 am Friday, May 20, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -The Niles City Council met this week to consider adopting a resolution to approve the extra millage rates to the maximum rate allowed by "Truth in Taxation" and to set a public hearing on that subject for Monday, May 23, 2005 at 7:25 p.m. at the new fire station.
Truth in Taxation and the Headlee Amendment are pieces of state legislation that limit the amount of millage a city can require. Truth in Taxation uses a formula to determine the amount of tax that may be collected by any given city as a safeguard to unfair taxation. While the tax may not go lower than the recommended amount, it can be raised to reach a ceiling limit. The City Council has the governmental authority to override the standard amount recommended if there is reasonable need.
According to Terry Eull, City Administrator, the need is very real.
The revenue collected from the increased millage, in this case, will be placed in the general fund, which goes toward necessary expenses in operating the city. The police and fire departments, the street and utilities departments, as well as the departments of planning, human resources, assessor, treasurer, and administration are directly affected by the additional millage.
The millage increase will only cost the tax payers pennies per parcel, but will add $13,900 to the city's operating budget for the year, which is currently set at 6.5 million. The city's budget depends on both the millage from local taxes and on state revenue sharing.
At a time when the City of Niles is receiving less state revenue now than four years ago, the benefit to the citizens could be substantial, even when a small amount of increase is added, according to Eull. "At this point, every little bit helps," he said.
According to Eull, the bottom line is that Niles residents have come to expect and enjoy the services provided by the city, and when the costs go up, the city officials feel compelled to see that those services still remain in place.
A hearing will be held on Monday night, May 23 at 7:25 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the new Niles City Fire Department at 1345 E. Main. The purpose of the hearing is to address and review questions by local citizens on the subject, followed by a vote ont he matter by city council members.