New budget for City of Tecumseh nears $5 million
By DEB WUETHRICH
Tecumseh City Council adopted its fiscal year 2013 budget, which is in effect from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, on Monday night. The budget has total General Fund Appropriations of $4,990,976 and total property tax millage rate of 14.3966 mills, unchanged from last year.
“This budget is a good budget, I think, depending on what happens with personal property,” said Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch. “When that happens we could see a change very quickly, and until it happens, it’s pretty hard to predict the exact impact on this budget.”
Welch was referring to the proposed elimination of personal property tax in Michigan. Legislators have not guaranteed replacement for personal property tax, and the city relies on approximately $310,000 of personal property revenue in its annual budget, or approximately six percent of the city’s total revenue.
“That’s not to say we oppose elimination of personal property,” said Welch. “Everybody is pretty much in agreement that it’s an outdated tax and is counter-productive to companies that want to invest. The problem we have is while the state is telling us after this is approved they will somewhere down the road adopt a law to replace part of what is lost, we don’t know what this will be.”
Welch noted that the $300,000 that would be lost is critical to the city. “Our DDA will be in trouble if they pass this law,” said Welch. “If we understand it right, the money the DDA loses will not be replaced. The DDA bond we just refinanced a month ago will go into default and there will not be enough money to pay the bills.” He said another problem is that the way the proposed change is written makes it retroactive to Dec. 31, 2011.
Although city officials have spoken with state representatives about their concerns, Welch wanted to put the concerns in writing. Council then voted to attach their resolution authorizing the letter so all council members’ signatures would be on it.
In other business, the council members:
• Amended an easement with Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company and entered into a lease agreement for $35,000, as well as an agreement that the small building to be constructed on .26 acres of the Tecumseh Business and Technology Campus would meet city design standards for the complex.
• Scheduled a public hearing for Monday, May 21, 2012 at 7:35 p.m. to hear comment regarding Lenawee Stamping Corporation’s Industrial Facilities Exemption application for a proposed $10 million investment.
• Heard Mayor Richard Johnson read a proclamation naming May 13-19 National Women’s Health Week in Tecumseh, as well as May 17 National Curves Day.
• Approved a retirement ordinance amendment establishing a second tier for new city employees for a different pension plan.
• Heard a presentation from Jim Van Doren and Tim Robinson regarding the direction of the newly restructured Lenawee Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), with a focus of attracting jobs to the region and maintaining jobs already here.