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Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10 a.m.

Millage will force Sylvan Township residents to pay for board's bad decision

By Letters to the Editor

As a concerned resident of Sylvan Township, I want to make sure that people get out and vote Nov. 8 on the township’s proposal for the millage increase of 4.75 mills. Whether you vote yes or no, that’s up to you. Here are my thoughts:

In 2000, the township board voted 4-0 to approve the development agreements that caused this mess. Keep in mind, the township board did not put this up to a vote of the people. Now our 3,400 plus residents are facing more than $13 million in liabilities because of their bad judgment. The developers never built a single house. Even though the bonds were backed by the county’s “full faith and credit,” that doesn’t mean anything now. If we don’t approve the millage increase, the county is going to sue us for payment. We get to pay one way or the other.

What does this mean in dollars and cents to Sylvan Township residents? If your home is assessed at $150,000, you currently pay $142 per year in township taxes. With the increase of 4.75 mills, your new township tax will be $854 per year. That’s adding $59 per month to your mortgage payment. Based on the 20 year life of this increase, you will be paying $14,250 for the township’s bad decision.

Hopefully you will be able to afford the increase. Some your neighbors may not and will lose their homes to foreclosure. Want to sell your home in today’s market? Not easy, as I’m sure you know. Just know that the township will have the highest millage rate of all the townships in the Chelsea School District. Buyers look at things like what their monthly property tax will be. A bad situation will become worse. You can find the ballot proposal wording online:

Vote what you feel is best but for the record, I’m voting no.

— Greg Johnson, Sylvan Township