CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) – In the face of stagnant tax revenues, a renewal of a property tax is taking a step forward in Charlotte.
City officials said the special assessment district was created last year with an aim to protect funding for emergency services like the fire department.
Yet, the possibility of continuing this tax has some residents pushing back during Monday night’s council meeting.
“Start liquidating, start making cuts. That’s what all these businesses are doing. That’s what homeowners are doing too. Start making some serious cuts, and start holding people accountable. Fire some people if they have to. We all do it,” said resident John Forte.
Several Charlotte business owners were vocal about the city’s special assessment district. They said the tax would add to already rocketing inflation and business costs.
Other residents said they were ready to continue the tax as long as it meant keeping officers and firefighters on the road.
“Acts and actions decades and decades ago are now all of a sudden causing adjustments and the need to make sure the city is sustainable and healthy going forward. I’m interested in seeing services maintained quality services. I’m interested in seeing the city stay sustainable going forward,” said resident Don Sovey.
Council members voiced their concerns about not being able to meet a city employee pension funding requirement enforced by the state.
Councilwoman Adrianne Van Langevelde said the city has been making many cuts but without further funds, she said state recommendations would lead to the loss of officers, firefighters and a public works employee.
“If we have to cut police officers and firefighters, our public safety would be at risk and that’s huge for me,” she said. “we can’t cut anymore. We already need two more [police officers] based on our crime rate. and we want economic growth here in Charlotte. In order to get that economic growth, we need to make a safe community that everyone wants to live in,” she added.
The city council voted to approve the special assessment roll which lists the affected property.