Fulton Township will try again Nov. 2 to pass a fire levy that would even the tax burden placed on residents.
In Fulton County, everyone lives in a township, including those who live within village or city limits. So, currently, township residents who also live in the Village of Swanton pay fire service taxes to both a township and village.
Passage of the new five-year, 1-mill levy, which is estimated to generate approximately $94,280 annually, would allow that to change.
If approved, Swanton Village Council has committed to rescinding the village’s 2-mill fire levy that is now being collected.
This has been a long time in the making. Over the past decade, Fulton Township, the Village of Swanton, and Swancreek Township have discussed moving towards eliminating the overlapping tax for those who reside in the Village of Swanton.
At a July 2020 joint meeting of Village Council, and the Fulton and Swancreek Boards of Trustees, Swanton Village Council expressed its commitment to rescind, or stop collecting, the village levy if both the townships agreed to an updated contract. At this same meeting, both Swancreek and Fulton Townships verbally agreed to this.
In order to do this, Fulton Township has placed the 1-mill levy on the ballot this November. If this passes, Swanton Village Council will stop collecting its levy which will result in decreased property taxes for all who reside within the village, according to Swanton Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle.
“It gets the same price for everybody across the board,” Fulton Township Trustee Joe Gombash said earlier this year. “Right now, the people of the village are actually double-taxed.”
The levy terms between the township and village have been an argument for years, and it is finally being resolved, Gombash said. “It’s just making it more fair for everybody,” he said.
The new levy was initially on the ballot in May, when it failed after a recount showed a tie. Interestingly, the levy received more support in the unincorporated part of the township than it did in the village.