Detroit’s struggle to maintain public safety services as the city prepares for enormous cuts to balance its budget took another twist when the city’s Board of Police Commissioners said it would seek a tax hike to maintain funding for cops and firefighters, the Detroit Free Press reports. Board members are asking the City Council today to put a proposal on the November ballot that officials said could generate millions each year for police and fire.
Current and former board members said the 7-mill public safety proposal, if approved by voters, could generate upwards of $56 million a year for public safety. Officials said the tax would be levied for five years and brought before voters again for approval. The owner of a $75,000 home would pay about $262.50 more a year in taxes. The idea was greeted with deep skepticism by Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, a former deputy police chief. “The challenges with public safety have more to do with effectively managing resources than lack of funds,” Brown said. “Detroit citizens are deeply overtaxed. Another millage will overburden citizens who continue to face economic challenges. Restructuring the police department is the answer.”