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Alpena commissioners to consider tax rate

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Alpena County Equalization Director Ted Somers looks at maps in his office Thursday. Somers said the commissioners are going to vote on a .2251 levy at its meeting Tuesday. The levy will help the county recapture the funding it loses from the Truth and Taxation Act. Tax rates will remain the same as they have for the last several years, as this is an annual happening.

ALPENA — During Tuesday’s Alpena County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board will vote to levy a .2251 tax that will make up for the lost revenue from the Truth and Taxation rollback.

The tax rate, if approved, will remain the same as it has for years and is not an increase. However, because there was a slight increase in property values in the county, which caused the taxable values to go up slightly, tax bills could increase just a touch. The taxable value rate went up by 2.15%.

According to Equalization Director Ted Somers, each year, the county needs to vote to accept a Truth and Taxation rollback from the state and has added on the .2251 mill to make up for the loss of revenue from it. He said it is different from the Headlee Rollback, which forces municipalities to put the measure to a vote of the people.

“The millage rates won’t be any higher. It is something the state makes us do,” Somers said. “Schools have to do it, townships have to do it. In short the tax rate will be the same as it was last year and the year before that.”

The rollback is expected to cost the county $216,455 in lost tax revenue, including more than $128,000 in operating money. The balance goes to other voter approved causes such as the senior, library, youth and recreation, and veterans millage funds to make them whole.

Somers said the county is not required to take on a Headlee Rollback this year. If it had, in order to recoup the lost tax revenue, a ballot proposal would need to be voted on to get approval from the voters to pass a small tax to make up that amount.

“If we had gotten the Headlee Rollback we wouldn’t have had a choice but to take the reduction and hope the voters would agree to make up the difference,” he said. “In the case of the Truth and Taxation Rollback the commissioners can do it with a simple vote and a public hearing.”

Somers said the total tax rate, with all of the millage included is 8.06034 and it drops to 7.8354 after the rollback. The .2251 simply makes up the difference, he said.

The meeting, which will begin at 1 p.m., will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Information on how to log into the meeting will be posted on the county’s website in the coming days.

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