Charlevoix County budget down nearly 2%; record low operating millage

charlevoix county board of commissioners



A good piece of news for taxpayers went veritably unnoticed this fall when the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners adopted its 2015-2016 budget.


County finance officials worked to reduce their operating millage levy from 4.7 mills down to 4.6 mills—a nearly 40-year record low—taking last year’s total down from $14,581,038 to a budgeted amount of $14,295,215 for 2015-2016.

“The budget went very smoothly this year, and there is a 1.96 percent decrease over the 2015 budget,” said Charlevoix County Clerk and Fiscal Officer Cherie Browe. “And, there were absolutely no staff or service cuts in the budget.”

This lowest operating millage rate since 1978 is also on track to be reduced to 4.45 mills in 2017.

Legally, the county can levy up to 7.5 mills against county taxpayers.

“You hear that, though? You know what that was? Shirley, you recognize that?” Charlevoix County Commissioner Chris Christensen (R-District 2) joked with Charlevoix County Commissioner Shirley Roloff (R-District 6) during the Sept. 23 budget hearing. “That’s called a tax cut.”

He added, “It sounded good, didn’t it?”

Roloff thanked Browe and her associates for working to bring the county’s expenditures down.


Following is a breakdown of the county’s departments and their budgeted amounts along with percentage of increase or decrease over last fiscal year:

Board Of Commissioners up 16.61 percent at $297,062

Legislative Committee down 86.09 percent at $10,500

Circuit Court up 11.02 percent at $242,696

Circuit Court Probation $2,000 – no change

District Court up 6.19 percent at $540,689

Friend Of The Court up 9.67 percent at $654,140

Jury Board $4,450 – no change

Probate Court down 10.29 percent at $629,281

Guardianships $14,000 – no change

County Clerk up 5.96 percent at $545,102

Audit up 14.29 percent at $40,000

Data Processing down 2.44 percent at $251,630

Cooperative Reimbursement up 2.83 percent at $78,779

Public Improvement down to zero from $29,807 last year

Treasurer up 11.84 percent to $319,773

Equalization down 14.47 percent to $412,143

Cooperative Extension up 1.33 percent at $161,978

Elections up 27.09 percent at $117,300

Postage no change at $5,000

Telephone no change at $90,000

Maintenance up 1.7 percent at $366,726

Prosecutor up 12.83 percent at $493,715

Register Of Deeds down 2.36 percent at $278,317

County Coordinator/Hr up 60.14 percent at $178,617

Drain Commissioner down 36.61 percent at $2,900

Soil Conservation District up 3.61 percent at $56,749

Soil Erosion zero, down from $79,771 last year

Copy and Recording no change at $64,000

Sheriff up 1.94 percent at $2,168,708

Marine down 26.13 percent to $64,228

Secondary Road up 2.67 percent at $107,049

Snowmobile no change at $9,306

Jail down .79 percent to $1,798,463

Building Safety up 19.14 percent to $548,788

GIS/IT up 32.99 percent to $164,965

Emergency Management up 20 percent to $60,000

Animal Control down 32.06 percent to $86,367

Contagious Disease no change at $2,500

Medical Examiner down .81 percent at $46,050

State Institutions no change at $61,846

Planning down 13.87 percent to $99,330

Parks down 23.08 percent to $500,000

Insurance and Bonds up 1.68 percent to $820,000

Social Security down 70 percent to $1,500

Contingency down 54.84 percent to $70,000

Contingency Building down 4.48 percent to $57,314

Property Tax Adjustments down 62.10 percent to $9,474

Operating Transfers down 9.56 percent to $1,761,780

Totals – $14,581,038 (2014-15) $14,295,215 (2015-16)