A tax increase proposal for Wayne County died this week in front of the Wayne County Commission, Chairman Gary Woronchak confirmed.
Commissioners at their Tuesday meeting considered asking voters to approve a new property tax of just less than 1 mill to raise $39 million to go toward the operations of the county sheriff, prosecutor and Department of Children and Family Services.
Under a county charter amendment put in place 14 years ago, putting any new or increased tax before voters requires a two-thirds vote–or “super majority”–of support by the 15-member commission.
According to the Detroit Free Press, two versions of the bill were put forward. Both were similar, but one would last for three years; the other, 10.
Both proposals, however, failed to get the super majority, effectively killing them for this election cycle, as the deadline for submitting items to the county clerk for inclusion in the Nov. 6 election ended Aug. 28.
Woronchak, a Democrat from Dearborn, said he opposed the millage, both because the proposal of it was rushed, and because Wayne County voters had just .
“It just seems wrong to come right back and say, ‘Thank you, but we need even more money,’” Woronchak said in remarks made at the meeting.
The millage would have added about $47 per year to the taxes of a resident owning a home worth $100,000.
Woronchak also made note of , as well as 4 mills being asked of Allen Park voters in November.
“More and more is being asked of our taxpayers,” he said, “and there comes a time when you have to draw a line.”
The Free Press reported that Sheriff Benny Napolean supported the plan. Prosecutor Kym Worthy, whose department would have received $9 million compared to the sheriff department’s $20 million, opposed it because she feels her department needed more funding than the proposal included.
"I'm a constitutionally mandated office, and you are cutting the legs out from under me," Worthy told commissioners.