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Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton Weighs In On Public Safety Millage

Oct 27, 2017

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Credit Washtenaw County / ewashtenaw.org

On November 7th, Washtenaw County residents will vote on an 8-year tax, one mill tax question. It's designed to improve public safety and mental health services, but the structure of the proposal has created divisions between communities. Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton discusses his support of the tax proposal with WEMU's David Fair.


Proposal, as it appears on Washtenaw County Ballots for the November 7th, General Election. 

 Washtenaw County Community Mental Health and Public Safety Preservation Millage

For the purposes of using the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Department to improve the treatment of people with mental health needs, provide increased financial support for mental health crisis, stabilization and prevention, and for continued law enforcement services provided by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, and for local governments which have their own police force, shall the limitations on the total amount of taxes which may be levied against taxable property within Washtenaw County, Michigan, as provided for by Section 6 of Article IX of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, be increased up to the amount of $1.00 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation (1.0 mills) for a period of eight years, beginning with the December 1, 2018 levy and extending through the 2025 levy, which shall raise in the first year an estimated $15,433,608.00 to be used as follows: 38% shall be allocated to Washtenaw County's Community Mental Health Department for mental health crisis, stabilization and prevention, and to meet mental health needs in an appropriate setting, thus reducing the burden on the jail and improving care; 38% shall be allocated to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office to ensure continued operations and increased collaboration with the mental health community; and 24% shall be allocated to jurisdictions in the County which maintain their own police force (currently Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Milan, Saline, Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Township and Northfield Township) in proportion to their respective 2016 population values?

M-Live’s Breakdown of How the Money is Allocated 

The 8-year, 1-mill tax is estimated to raise more than $15.4 million in the first year.  Funds would be divided, as such: 

  • 38 percent for Washtenaw County Community Mental Health to address what county officials say is a mental health crisis due to losses in state funding, including services focused on stabilization and prevention, meeting mental health needs in an appropriate setting, reducing the burden on the county jail and improving care.
  • 24 percent for jurisdictions that maintain their own police force (currently Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Milan, Saline, Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Township, and Northfield Township) in proportion to their respective 2016 populations.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu