December 3, 2020

Kalamazoo 911 Tax Proposal for August ballot

Kalamazoo 911 Dispatch Authority logo

KALAMAZOO, MI — There will be a Kalamazoo 911 Tax proposal on the ballots for local Michigan voters in August.

Voters will see the following proposal on their ballots intended for Kalamazoo 911: For the purpose of funding a central public safety communication system and 9-1-1 service system, shall the constitutional limitation upon the total amount of taxes which may be assessed in one (1) year upon all property within the County of Kalamazoo, Michigan, be increased in an amount up to but not to exceed 0.65 mills ($0.65 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years (2020 – 2029 inclusive), to be distributed to the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority for countywide 9-1-1 facilities, functions and services as provided in the Kalamazoo County Emergency 9-1-1 Service System Plan. If approved and levied in full, this millage would raise an estimated $6,111,513 in the first calendar year of its levy based on taxable value.

Related Story: All candidates and issues on the ballot for Kalamazoo County’s August primary election

The ability for the Kalamazoo 911 authority to raise revenue will impact long-term funding plans as local 911 revenues are anticipated to remain flat for the next year and the State’s 911 fee revenues are projected to be 7% less than the amount budgeted in 2019 due to legislative changes that were made mid-year in 2018. Those legislative changes placed a “cap” on the revenue that is distributed in general; including monies distributed to the counties. The “cap” of $37 million, will limit state surcharge revenues at approximately $484,000 per year thru 2021 (legislative sunset).

While officials seek to secure new revenue funding, Kalamazoo will also seek to remain financially conservative in its 2020 budget with only minor cost increases, i.e. the standard increases associated with employee costs, with the only significant capital outlay projected to be the addition of a radio tower that will support multiple agencies.

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