Romulus to seek 4 mill police, fire tax hike

The Detroit News
Police car

Romulus officials are asking for an increase of four mills from its residents to support fire and police services.  

The tax, if passed, would cost the owner of a $155,000 home $310 per year, or just shy of $26 per month, for a five-year period.

The city said in a release Tuesday the millage increase is necessary to  maintain current services and avoid cuts to the departments.  

The proposed tax hike comes at a time when police runs are increasing — 20,607 in 2017, up from 17,064 in 2009 — and staffing numbers are down, 43 officers currently, compared to 57 in 2008-09, Romulus officials said.

The city had 30 firefighters a decade ago with 15 working full time. The number is down to 19, which includes four part-time firefighters. 

The city, which was chartered in 1970, didn't increase taxes when it created its police department in 1983 or its fire department in 1999, city officials said.

Mayor LeRoy Burchoff said, in the statement, that the city is "making good spending decisions...doing more with less," but that circumstances demand more resources than the city can offer without a tax hike.