Fraser City Council passes controversial property tax increase that will cost taxpayers hundreds

Voters rejected tax increase twice

FRASER, Mich. – The Fraser City Council approved a controversial property tax increase Thursday that will raise taxes by several hundred dollars a year.

The tax hike has been rejected by voters twice, and residents are divided about the decision to approve the increase.

"We want to keep our police department intact. We've lost eight officers in the last year over the budget and lost because public safety is 51 percent of our budget," said Tom McCoy, who supports the property taxes.

McCoy said he expects to pay about $800 more a year in taxes.

Business owner Ken Immeler said the increase will be more than a few hundred dollars for those who own businesses. He believes business owners will be paying thousands a year under the increase, and he does not think the hike is the answer.

"They have incompetent people on council. This problem is over their heads; none are business people," Immeler said.

Mayor Michael Carnagie said the hike will generate just over $3 million in one fiscal year.

"We're going to be asking for a long-term plan from the city manager, but the goal is bring that mil down every year if possible," he said.

Councilwoman Yvette Foster was the only member to vote against the tax increase.

"We have no five-year plan, we have no one-year plan. I stated numerous times, 'What are we doing next year? Are we going to continue raise these mils, raise these taxes? What's the end game?'" she said.

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