The City of Howell is looking at implementing a public safety special assessment.

As part of the 2018/2019 budget, Council directed staff to prepare approval and adoption of a public safety special assessment. It would be on all real property within the city, the equivalent to three mills. The City has been dealing with a financial crunch to what leaders say is largely related to state issues, reduced state revenue sharing, Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment. After years of making cuts and efficiencies, officials want to maintain the City and are looking to generate new revenue through an assessment district.

As proposed, the assessment would generate $885,192 to fund police services. The new revenue would then be able to offset current general fund dollars, which would be reallocated primarily to fund infrastructure projects in the City. Although the economy has recovered over the last few years, officials say flaws in the way the state funds local governments is becoming more painfully apparent. The City has been making cuts for years and various efficiencies have been implemented to help manage all of the fiscal challenges and minimize the service impact on residents. The City has also been deferring assorted infrastructure projects including road, sidewalks and building improvements.

City Manager Shea Charles tells WHMI they’ll be sending out notices to all property owners, noting this is a multi-step process for consideration by council. On Monday, Council approved a resolution setting a public hearing for Monday, April 23rd at 7pm at Howell City Hall to discuss the proposal. If the district is approved, then council would set another public hearing to consider the actual amount of the assessment.

Those interested in learning more about the proposed public safety special assessment can visit the City website. A link is posted. (JM)